Monitoring Mexican Rice Borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) Populations in Sugarcane and Rice With Conventional and Electronic Pheromone Traps.
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The Mexican rice borer, Eoreuma loftini (Dyar), is a major pest of sugarcane, Saccharum spp., rice, Oryza sativa L., and other graminaceous crops in Texas and Louisiana. The ability of conventional and electronic pheromone traps to monitor E. loftini in sugarcane and rice habitats was evaluated in two separate 2-yr field studies. Bucket traps baited with a synthetic female sex pheromone monitored E. loftini populations in commercial sugarcane fields in Calcasieu and Jefferson Davis Parishes throughout the 2014 and 2015 growing seasons. The number of E. loftini captured differed among months, but not between years or parishes. The percentage of E. loftini-injured stalks was greater in 2015 than in 2014, peaking in September of both years. Daily trap capture was correlated with the percentage of injured stalks. Injury from E. loftini in Louisiana sugarcane remained relatively low (<3% bored internodes) in both 2014 and 2015. In a second experiment, electronic traps were compared with conventional pheromone traps for monitoring E. loftini populations in sugarcane and rice habitats in Texas in 2013 and 2015. Performance of earlier electronic trap prototypes in 2013 was inconsistent and less effective than conventional traps. Improved trap design in 2015 resulted in more than threefold greater moth capture in electronic traps than in conventional pheromone traps. Electronic traps demonstrated potential to improve monitoring strategies for this pest and should be evaluated for lepidopterous pests in a variety of cropping systems.