Trapping Phyllophaga spp. (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae) in the United States and Canada using sex attractants
The sex pheromone of the scarab beetle, Phyllophaga anxia, is a blend of the methyl esters of two amino acids, L-valine and L-isoleucine. A field trapping study was conducted, deploying different blends of the two compounds at 59 locations in the United States and Canada. More than 57,000 males of 61 Phyllophaga species (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae) were captured and identified. Three major findings included: (1) widespread use of the two compounds [of the 147 Phyllophaga (sensu stricto) species found in the United States and Canada, males of nearly 40% were captured]; (2) in most species intraspecific male response to the pheromone blends was stable between years and over geography; and (3) an unusual pheromone polymorphism was described from P. anxia. Populations at some locations were captured with L-valine methyl ester alone, whereas populations at other locations were captured with L-isoleucine methyl ester alone. At additional locations, the L-valine methyl ester-responding populations and the L-isoleucine methyl ester-responding populations were both present, producing a bimodal capture curve. In southeastern Massachusetts and in Rhode Island, in the United States, P. anxia males were captured with blends of L-valine methyl ester and L-isoleucine methyl ester.