Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg.) is recognized as an invasive species in the Caribbean, the United States, and Mexico. Prior work using hexane extracts of sex glands showed that the sex pheromone of this species has 54% of (Z, E) ‐9.12 ‐14: acetate, 42% of (Z, E) ‐9.12 -14:OH and 4% of Z9‐14: Ac. Although traps baited with this mixture are effectively to attract males of the cactus moth, it is necessary to determine whether the pheromone can be optimized and to determinate if female diet may impact pheromone composition. Experiments with insects were made at the USDA‐ARS Crop in Tifton, Georgia, where there is a colony maintained on cactus and another on an artificial diet. Solid‐phase microextraction (SPME) was used to collect pheromones in the headspace above a single calling female and by rubbing the excised female sex gland with SPME fibers. Rubbing the gland directly with SPME fiber revealed that the pheromone consists of the compounds cited above plus Z9‐14:Ac. With dynamic aeration and capture of volatiles with fiber only captured two compounds. In addition, our results indicated that natural or artificial diet does not influence the composition of the sex pheromone.
Part of the book: Biological Control of Pest and Vector Insects