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Putative sex pheromone of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, breaks down into an attractant


Under laboratory conditions, mating activity in Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) started 4 days after emergence, peaked at day 7, and showed a clear window of activity starting 8 h into the photophase and extending through the first hour of the scotophase. We confirmed that ACP males are attracted to emanations from conspecific females. Traps loaded with a candidate compound enriched with female extract, lignoceryl acetate (24Ac), at various doses were active only after being deployed for several weeks in the field, suggesting that a degradation product, not the test compound, was the active ingredient(s). Lignocerol, a possible product of 24Ac degradation, was not active, whereas acetic acid, another possible degradation product, was found in the airborne volatile collections from lures matured under field conditions and detected in higher amounts in volatiles collected from females at the peak of mating activity than in male samples. Acetic acid elicited dose-dependent electroantennographic responses and attracted ACP males, but not females, in Y-type and 4-way olfactometers. Field tests showed that acetic acid-baited traps captured significantly more males than control traps. Surprisingly, captures of females in acetic acid-baited traps were also higher than in control traps, possibly because of physical stimuli emitted by captured males.

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