Project 7

Pheromone attractants of the biological control agent Oxyops vitiosa

The goal of this research is to develop a pheromone-based monitoring system for Oxyops vitiosa in order to estimate field densities and distribution.

This project will describe the insect- and plant-derived bioactive compounds produced by Oxyops vitiosa and Melaleuca quinquenervia foliage. Research will examine the constituents in M. quinquenervia leaves that elicit orientation behavior in adult and larval herbivores. The outcome of the research will facilitate the monitoring of biological control agent field densities with pheromone-based trapping. The results will assist in mass collecting and redistributing individuals to new sites. Finally, it will provide a means to search for hard-to-find individuals of different biotypes in the original Australian range of O. vitiosa that may be used to compliment the control exerted by the present weevil biotype.

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