Preference of Quinoa Moth: Eurysacca Melanocampta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) for Two Varieties of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) in Olfactometry Assays
Insects are attracted to plants by visual and olfactory cues. The quinoa moth, Eurysacca melanocampta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is the main insect pest of the quinoa crop, Chenopodium quinoa Willd. (Chenopodiales: Chenopodiaceae), in the southern Peruvian Andes, causing grain yield losses. The aim of this study was to investigate the behavioural response of adult quinoa moths to olfactory stimuli. Specifically, the objectives of this study were: 1) to determine the capacity of E. melanocampta adults of searching for quinoa plants using plant olfactory cues; 2) to determine the preference of E. melanocampta females for the odours derived from two varieties of quinoa: Amarilla de Marangani and Blanca de Junín; and 3) to assess the attraction of male quinoa moths to E. melanocampta females and the host plant in olfactometric bioassays. Adults preferred quinoa plant odour sources in choice tests when distilled water was used as a control (P < 0.0001). Females were more attracted to the Blanca de Junín variety than to Amarilla de Marangani variety (P < 0.05). Males were more attracted to the odour derived from females than to the volatile compounds from plants (both varieties) or to the odour blend derived from plants plus females together. The level of attraction of males towards females is negatively affected by the presence of the quinoa plants.