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Entomologia Generalis

The Citrus genus includes eight flowering shrub and tree species with numerous varieties that bear fruits (oranges, limes, lemons, mandarins, kumquats, grapefruits, among others). Due to a long history of extensive citrus cultivation around the world, insect pest species have emerged, including moths (Lepidoptera), sucking bugs (Hemiptera), beetles (Coleoptera), and flies (Diptera). About 50 important species in these four orders are known to use pheromones and other semiochemicals. These volatiles have potential for use in management strategies, such as early detection, monitoring local population levels, mass trapping, lure-and-kill, mating disruption, and push-pull. Successful management of major citrus pest moths (Phyllocnistis citrella, Thaumatotibia leucotreta, Epiphyas postvittana), scales/mealybugs (Aonidiella aurantii, Planococcus citri), and fruit flies (Ceratitis capitate, Anastrepha ludens and several Bactrocera spp.) is currently achieved using plant- and insect-derived semiochemicals. Other aspects of the chemical ecology of citrus pest insects and their management are discussed, such as a trap-lure’s effective attraction radius, sequential SPME-GCMS analysis for semiochemical identification, volatile complexity of fruit flies, and unique-structured mealybug sex pheromones. While pheromones have proven to be useful in detection and monitoring of many citrus pests, progress on other management methods (mating disruption, mass-trapping, lure-and-kill, and push-pull) has been challenging due to the complexity of variables required for success. These variables are species-specific and include semiochemical syntheses, stability, blend efficacy, dosages, and field distributions as well as implementation with dispensers and traps that balance costs and efficiency.

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Pheromones and semiochemicals with potential use in management of citrus pests

The Citrus genus includes eight flowering shrub and tree species with numerous varieties that bear fruits (oranges, limes, lemons, mandarins, kumquats, grapefruits, among others). Due to a long history of extensive citrus cultivation around the world, insect pest species have emerged, including moths (Lepidoptera), sucking bugs (Hemiptera), beetles (Coleoptera), and flies (Diptera). About 50 important species in these four orders are known to use pheromones and other semiochemicals. These volatiles have potential for use in management strategies, such as early detection, monitoring local population levels, mass trapping, lure-and-kill, mating disruption, and push-pull. Successful management of major citrus pest moths (Phyllocnistis citrella, Thaumatotibia leucotreta, Epiphyas postvittana), scales/mealybugs (Aonidiella aurantii, Planococcus citri), and fruit flies (Ceratitis capitate, Anastrepha ludens and several Bactrocera spp.) is currently achieved using plant- and insect-derived semiochemicals. Other aspects of the chemical ecology of citrus pest insects and their management are discussed, such as a trap-lure’s effective attraction radius, sequential SPME-GCMS analysis for semiochemical identification, volatile complexity of fruit flies, and unique-structured mealybug sex pheromones. While pheromones have proven to be useful in detection and monitoring of many citrus pests, progress on other management methods (mating disruption, mass-trapping, lure-and-kill, and push-pull) has been challenging due to the complexity of variables required for success. These variables are species-specific and include semiochemical syntheses, stability, blend efficacy, dosages, and field distributions as well as implementation with dispensers and traps that balance costs and efficiency.

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