Application of Pheromones for Crop Pest Management in the Indian Sub-Continent


The Natural Resources Institute has worked in the Indian sub-continent to utilise insect pheromones for the control of a wide range of insect crop pests. The pheromones of more than 20 insect pests have been identified and the behaviourally active components of 14 fully optimised. In addition four components of the pheromone of black-headed coconut caterpillar, Opisina arenosella, were identified using insects from Sri Lanka but high catches in unbaited traps have hampered field work. Putative pheromone components of Maruca vitrata, Leucinodes orbonalis, Hellula undalis, Xylotrechus quadripes and Rhynchophorus ferrugineus have been identified and are under active investigation. The female sex pheromone of the groundnut leafminer, Aproaerema modicella, has recently been identified and found to be highly attractive to male moths at very low doses suggesting it could be useful for population surveillance or control by mass trapping. However, despite extensive scientific investigation, the optimised pheromone of Helicoverpa armigera remains of uncertain value for use in population surveillance and control. A controlled-release formulation suitable for protecting a wide range of lepidopteran pheromones was developed and evaluated in large scale trials on cotton and rice pests in Pakistan and India, respectively. In Pakistan season-long control of the cotton pests, Pectinophora gossypiella, Earias insulana and E. vittella, was achieved by mating disruption with a saving of up to five applications of insecticide. While in India season-long control of the yellow stem borer, Scirpophaga incertulas, on rice was found to be as effective as the insecticide regimes currently used by smallholders. The prospects for commercialising pheromones for control of crop pests are being actively studied through farmer participatory field trials designed to identify the social and economic constraints of smallholder farmers who make up much of the farming community in the Indian sub-continent.


Cork, A.; Hall, D.R. Application of Pheromones for Crop Pest Management in the Indian Sub-Continent. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology (1998) 1 (1) 35-49. [DOI: 10.1016/S1226-8615(08)60005-9]

Application of Pheromones for Crop Pest Management in the Indian Sub-Continent

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