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Bakersfield, CA, United States

Mahoney N.E.,Albany Research Center | Gee W.S.,Albany Research Center | Higbee B.S.,Paramount Farming Company | Beck J.J.,Albany Research Center
Phytochemistry Letters

The spiroketal conophthorin has recently been implicated as an important semiochemical of the navel orangeworm moth (Amyelois transitella), a major insect pest to California tree nuts. Additionally, new evidence demonstrates that fungal spores in the presence of linoleic acid produce conophthorin. Numerous investigations have analyzed the volatile emissions of almonds and pistachios under varying conditions, yet there are few reports of conophthorin as a volatile component. Previous studies by our laboratories have suggested almond hulls may be a source of conophthorin production. Accordingly, the volatile emissions of ex situ almond and pistachio ground hulls were surveyed at several developmental stages. Each ground sample was analyzed at various intervals to determine if conophthorin was produced. The almond and pistachio samples were presumed to have a natural fungal bouquet present. Additionally, the fatty acid composition, water content, and water activity of the hulls were analyzed for each sample. Conophthorin and the structurally similar compound chalcogran were detected from almond hulls and shells, but not from the pistachio samples. The almond and pistachio hulls were investigated for four fatty acid components - palmitic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic. The fatty acid composition of almond hulls varied greatly throughout the growing season, whereas the composition of pistachio hulls remained relatively constant. Both water content and activity were constant in early stages of almond growth then dropped in the later stages of hull split. Spiroketal emission along with other associated volatiles is discussed. This is the first report of the fatty acid composition, water content, and water activity of developing almond and pistachio hulls. Source

Burks C.S.,San Joaquin Valley Agricultural science Center | Higbee B.S.,Paramount Farming Company
Environmental Entomology

The sampling range of pheromone traps for the navel orangeworm Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and its association with abundance was investigated by examining mutual interference within cross-shaped arrays of nine wing traps baited with virgin females and placed at 400-m intervals in three 256-ha blocks of almonds (Prunus dulcis [Miller] D. A. Webb), and three of pistachios (Pistacia vera L.). The proportions of males captured in the different positions were compared with the mean males for all traps, used as an index for abundance. For means between zero and 50 males per trap per week, the distribution was unequal between trap positions and the greatest proportion of males were captured in the northern-most trap (i.e., the within-row direction). Between 50 and 100 males per trap per week, most males were captured in the western-most traps and fewest in the center, and proportions were equal in other trap positions. Above 100 males per trap per week, the proportion of males captured was more nearly equal for all trap positions. These results demonstrate that the sampling range of pheromone traps for navel orangeworm is density dependent and, at low densities, is >400 m. They also indicate that abundance affects the impact of direction (orientation) of trap interference. At low density, female-strength pheromone traps sample males from beyond the block in which they are placed for orchard blocks of <50 ha. © 2013 Entomological Society of America. Source

Girling R.D.,University of Southampton | Higbee B.S.,Paramount Farming Company | Carde R.T.,University of California at Riverside
Journal of Chemical Ecology

The trajectories of pheromone plumes in canopied habitats, such as orchards, have been little studied. We documented the capture of male navel orangeworm moths, Amyelois transitella, in female-baited traps positioned at 5 levels, from ground level to the canopy top, at approximately 6 m above ground, in almond orchards. Males were captured in similar proportions at all levels, suggesting that they do not favor a particular height during ranging flight. A 3-D sonic anemometer was used to establish patterns of wind flow and temperature at 6 heights from 2.08 to 6.65 m in an almond orchard with a 5 m high canopy, every 3 h over 72 h. The horizontal velocity of wind flow was highest above the canopy, where its directionality also was the most consistent. During the time of A. transitella mating (0300-0600), there was a net vertical displacement upward. Vertical buoyancy combined with only minor reductions in the distance that plumes will travel in the lower compared to the upper canopy suggest that the optimal height for release of pheromone from high-release-rate sources, such as aerosol dispensers ("puffers"), that are deployed at low densities (e.g., 3 per ha.) would be at mid or low in the canopy, thereby facilitating dispersion of disruptant throughout the canopy. Optimal placement of aerosol dispensers will vary with the behavioral ecology of the target pest; however, our results suggest that current protocols, which generally propose dispenser placement in the upper third of the canopy, should be reevaluated. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Higbee B.S.,Paramount Farming Company | Siegel J.P.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Journal of Economic Entomology

Large-scale field efficacy trials of methoxyfenozide (Intrepid), a reduced-risk molting agonist insecticide, were conducted in 2004 and 2005 in an orchard containing 'Nonpareil' and 'Sonora' almonds [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] located in Kern County, CA. Methoxyfenozide applied one to three times, the organophosphate phosmet (Imidan) alone or in combination with methoxyfenozide, or the pyrethroid permethrin (Perm-Up) were tested for efficacy against the primary lepidopteran pest navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), and three other lepidopteran pests of almond: oriental fruit moth, Grapholita molesta (Busck); obliquebanded leafroller, Choristoneura rosaceana (Harris); and peach twig borer, Anarsia lineatella Zeller. Two or three applications of methoxyfenozide (bracketing hull split or spring plus bracketing hull split) were more effective than a single hull split application of phosmet, phosmet combined with permethrin, or methoxyfenozide. In these trials, a spring application followed by a posthull split application was as effective as the applications bracketing hull split. Navel orangeworm accounted for >60% of the total damage, whereas oriental fruit moth and peach twig borer were the dominant secondary pests. In experiments conducted in 2010 to assess the direct toxicity of methoxyfenozide to navel orangeworm eggs under field conditions, exposure to methoxyfenozide reduced survival by 9699%. We conclude that this reduced-risk insecticide is effective, although its efficacy is maximized with more than one well-timed application. © 2012 Entomological Society of America. Source

Burks C.S.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Higbee B.S.,Paramount Farming Company | Siegel J.P.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Brandl D.G.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Environmental Entomology

The navel orangeworm is the primary insect pest of almonds in California, and egg traps are the primary means of monitoring this pest. A previous study found that the current use of 2-4 traps per 64 ha block usually is not sufficient to provide management information specifically for that block. In this study, we compare data from large grids of egg traps in varied commercial almond orchards with trapping data for females and males, with the objective of finding a more cost-effective monitoring program using currently available attractants. The proportion of egg traps with eggs was highly correlated with mean eggs per egg trap, and with females and males trapped simultaneously at the same location. Almond variety and the type of bait used had little impact on the relationship between the proportion of egg traps with eggs and the number of eggs per traps. Traps in orchards with more unharvested (mummy) almonds had more eggs, suggesting that navel orangeworm abundance affected traps more than competition from mummies. Laboratory experiments comparing age-specific oviposition in two-choice and no-choice situations found that younger, more fecund females laid a greater proportion of eggs on the preferred substrate in a two-choice situation, but that age-specific fecundity was not different between substrates in no-choice tests. These findings indicate that the proportion of egg traps with eggs provides a more stable indication of navel orangeworm phenology than mean eggs per trap. We suggest that similar information could be obtained in a more cost-effective manner with female trapping. © 2011 Entomological Society of America. Source

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