Minor components modulate sensitivity to the pheromone antagonist Z11-14:Ac in male lightbrown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in the field

  • Rachael M. Horner Plant & Food Research
  • Thomas E.S. Sullivan Plant & Food Research
  • Andrew M. Sporle Plant & Food Research
  • Lloyd D. Stringer Plant & Food Research
  • Lee-Anne M. Manning Plant & Food Research
  • Ashraf M. El-Sayed Plant & Food Research
  • David Maxwell Suckling Plant & Food Research https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7216-9348
Keywords: Epiphyas postvittana, lightbrown apple moth, Lepidoptera, Tortricidae, pheromone, inhibitor, mating disruption


Epiphyas postvittana is a major horticultural pest in many countries, including New Zealand. Recently, two minor components (E)-11-tetradecen-1-ol and (E)-11-hexadecenyl acetate were found to increase the attraction of a previously identified two-component sex pheromone (95:5 blend of (E)-11-tetradecenyl acetate [E11-14:Ac] and (E,E)-9,11-tetradecadienyl acetate [E9,E11-14:Ac]) of Epiphyas postvittana. We hypothesised that the interaction between these minor components and the behavioural antagonist (Z)-11-tetradecenyl acetate (Z11-14:Ac) would modulate its antagonistic effect. The effect of increasing the ratio (0.5—10%) of Z11-14:Ac was tested in traps baited with E11-14:Ac and E9,E11-14:Ac (95:5), with or without the addition of the two minor compounds. Catch decreased as the percentage of Z11-14:Ac increased (χ2=108.74; d.f.=9; P<0.001). Overall, more moths were caught in traps baited with four- vs two-component lures (χ2=9.81; d.f.=1; P=0.002); in pair-level comparisons, significant differences in catch number between the two- and four-component lures were observed when the E11-14:Ac : Z11-14:Ac ratio was 99:1 (P=0.031) or 98:2 (P=0.047). The addition of the two minor components mitigated the reduced catch effect due to lower proportions of E11-14:Ac and the presence of 1—2% antagonist.


Bellas TE, Bartell RJ, Hill A 1983. Identification of two components of the sex-pheromone of the moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology 9: 503–512. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00990222

Cossé AA, Todd JL, Baker TC 1998. Neurons discovered in male Helicoverpa zea antennae that correlate with pheromone-mediated attraction and interspecific antagonism. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 182: 585–594. https://doi.org/10.1007/s003590050205

El-Sayed AM, Mitchell VJ, Manning LAM, Suckling DM 2011. New sex pheromone blend for the lightbrown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana. Journal of Chemical Ecology 37: 640–646. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-011-9964-x

Horak M, Whittle CP, Bellas TE, Rumbo ER 1988. Pheromone gland components of some Australian tortricids in relation to their taxonomy. Journal of Chemical Ecology 14: 1163–1175. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01019344

Juárez ML, Ruiz MJ, Fernández PC, Goane L, Villagrán ME, Arce OEA, Armi-ana A, Páez Jerez PG, de la Vega MH, Vera MT, Groot AT 2016. Communication interference in sympatrically occurring moth species. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 158: 25–33. https://doi.org/10.1111/eea.12374

Martin N, Moore K, Musto CJ, Linn CE 2016. Flight tunnel response of male European corn borer moths to cross-specific mixtures of European and Asian corn borer sex pheromones: evidence supporting a critical stage in evolution of a new communication system. Journal of Chemical Ecology 42: 51–54. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-015-0656-9

Mo J, Glover M, Munro S, Beattie GAC 2006. Evaluation of mating disruption for control of lightbrown apple moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in citrus. Journal of Economic Entomology 99: 421–426. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/99.2.421

Renou M, Guerrero A 2000. Insect parapheromones in olfaction research and semiochemical-based pest control strategies. Annual Review of Entomology 45: 605–630. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ento.45.1.605

Rumbo E, Deacon S, Regan L 1993. Spatial discrimination between sources of pheromone and an inhibitor by the light-brown apple moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology 19: 953–962. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992530

Stephens AEA, Suckling DM, El-Sayed AM 2008. Odour quality discrimination for behavioural antagonist compounds in three tortricid species. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 127: 176–183. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2008.00694.x

Suckling DM, Shaw PW 1995. Large-scale trials of mating disruption of lightbrown apple moth in Nelson, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 23: 127–137. https://doi.org/10.1080/01140671.1995.9513879

Suckling DM, Shaw PW, Khoo JGI, Cruickshank V 1990. Resistance management of lightbrown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) by mating disruption. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 18: 89–98. https://doi.org/10.1080/01140671.1990.10428077

Suckling DM, Sullivan TES, Stringer LD, Butler RC, Campbell DM, Twidle AM, Allen WJ, Mafra-Neto A, El-Sayed AM 2012. Communication disruption of light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana) using a four-component sex pheromone blend. Crop Protection 42: 327–333. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2012.07.009

Wu H, Xu M, Hou C, Huang LQ, Dong JF, Wang CZ 2015. Specific olfactory neurons and glomeruli are associated to differences in behavioral responses to pheromone components between two Helicoverpa species. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00206

Zhang D, Löfstedt C 2015. Moth pheromone receptors: gene sequences, function, and evolution. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 3. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2015.00105
How to Cite
Horner, R. M., Sullivan, T. E., Sporle, A. M., Stringer, L. D., Manning, L.-A. M., El-Sayed, A. M., & Suckling, D. M. (2018). Minor components modulate sensitivity to the pheromone antagonist Z11-14:Ac in male lightbrown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in the field. New Zealand Plant Protection, 71, 293-298. https://doi.org/10.30843/nzpp.2018.71.184
Vol 71 Apple Pests 2018

Most read articles by the same author(s)