Sex Pheromone Biology of the Adult Tomato Pinworm, Keiferia Lycopersicella (Walsingham)

J. R. McLaughlin, A. Q. Antonio, S. L. Poe, D. R. Minnick


Laboratory and field tests established that the adult tomato pinworm, Keiferia lycopersicella (Walsingham), is crepuscular (evening) in its mating habits. Approximately 75% of males captured in traps baited with female pheromone extracts and placed in tomato fields in February were caught during the twilight period (5-8 PM EST). Females exposed to an abrupt-transition photoperiod in the laboratory exhibited maximum calling activity 0.5 after lights-out, but males were responsive to female extracts throughout the night. Virgin pairs mated only during hours 1-3 of the laboratory scotophase. Females called most and males were most responsive to the pheromone in a laboratory olfactometer during the third night after eclosion. Males were more responsive when bioassayed with dim light both above and below the olfactometer than when there was light only from below.

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