Abstract

In Latin America and the Caribbean, precious wood species like mahoganies (Swietenia spp.) and cedars (Cedrela spp.) are seriously injured by the mahogany shootborer, Hypsipyla grandella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) larva, which bores into the main shoot of trees. In previous experiments focused on searching for a preventive method for managing this pest, a wood extract of bitterwood, Quassia amara L. ex Blom (Simaroubaceae) had been shown to cause phagodeterrence to larvae. Therefore, three fractions (water, methanol and diethyl ether) of a wood extract were tested for their phagodeterrence to larvae, by means of laboratory and greenhouse trials. Phagodeterrence was assessed by determining their effect on foliage consumption, mortality and signs of damage (number of orifices, sawdust piles, fallen shoots, number of tunnels and tunnel length) caused by larvae on Spanish cedar (C. odorata). Both the methanol and diethyl ether fractions caused phagodeterrence, by strongly reducing foliage consumption and signs of damage, while not causing larval mortality. The lowest concentration at which phagodeterrence was detected for the methanol fraction corresponded to 0.0625%, which is equivalent to a 1.0% of the bitterwood crude extract. However, results with the diethyl ether fraction were unsatisfactory, as none of the treatments differed from the solvent, possibly because of an adverse effect of the solvent on foliar tissues. Phagodeterrent principles from Q. amara derivatives may play an important role in dealing with H. grandella if they are complemented with other integrated pest management preventative tactics. Rev. Biol. Trop. 59 (1): 487-499. Epub 2011 March 01.
Keywords: Hypsipyla grandella, barrenador de meliáceas, extractos vegetales, Quassia amara, hombre grande, fagodisuasión, mahogany shootborer, plant extracts, bitterwood, phagodeterrence