Disruption of the odour-mediated mating behaviour of Plodia interpunctella using high-frequency sound

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Indian meal moths, Plodia interpunctella Hubner ( Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), have ears which are sensitive to high-frequency calls produced by echolocating, insectivorous bats. The influence of artificially generated, high-intensity, ultrasound signals (25 kHz, 106 dB SPL at 1 m distance) on different parameters involved in the odour-mediated mating behaviour of this species and its potential use in population control was investigated. All moths flying towards olfactory cues in flight tunnel experiments reacted strongly to a 1 s ultrasound pulse by cessation of flight and falling out of the odour plume. The source contact proportion of both male moths orienting towards the female-produced sex pheromone and of mated female moths orienting towards an oviposition cue was reduced by 40%, compared to unexposed moths. Calling females responded to the sound by retraction of the ovipositor or by falling to the ground. Long-term exposure to repetitive pulses of ultrasound suppressed female calling by up to 27%. Furthermore, mating in plastic tents was disrupted by up to 58% in ultrasound-treated tents using different sound regimens, compared to control tents. The results are discussed in relation to the potential use of ultrasound technology for the population control of pyralid stored product pests.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences
  • Zoology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch

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