Development of a pheromone-based monitoring system for a newly identified Contarinia midge on the Canadian prairies

Researcher: Boyd Mori, University of Alberta and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Meghan Vankosky, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, David Hall and Daniel Bray, University of Greenwich

Project Code: CARP 2017.13

Final Report: March 2020

Summary: The canola flower midge Contarinia brassicola Sinclair (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is a newly-described species that induces galls on canola, Brassica napus Linnaeus (Brassicaceae) (Mori et al. 2019). The galls prevent flowers from opening and subsequent pod formation. The small size of C. brassicola and its morphological similarity to sympatric species of midge makes detection and identification difficult, such that damage to crops by C. brassicola is often overlooked. Many cecidomyid midges of agricultural importance use sex pheromones (species-specific volatile chemical signals) to coordinate mate finding. Once properly identified, synthetic versions of these chemicals can be used as the basis of sensitive pheromone-based monitoring and management tools. For this project, we aimed to identify and synthesize the female-produced sex pheromone of C. brassicola and demonstrate its effectiveness in attracting males to traps in the field.

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