Millar, J.G., Chinta, S.P., McElfresh, J.S., Robinson, L.J., & Morse, J.G. 2012 Identification of the Sex Pheromone of the Invasive Scale Acutaspis albopicta (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), Arriving in California on Shipments of Avocados from Mexico. Journal of Economic Entomology 105(2):497-504

Notes: As a result of relaxation of importation restrictions ordered by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shipments of fresh avocados from Mexico began entering California year-round in 2007, despite the fact that these shipments were heavily infested with a number of exotic and potentially invasive armored scale species that are not thought to be present in California. Here, we report the identi├×cation of the sex pheromone of one of these species, Acutaspis albopicta (Cockerell), from a quarantine colony of these insects initiated from specimens collected from commercial shipments of Mexican avocados. The compound was identi├×ed as [(1S,3S)-2,2-dimethyl-3-(prop-1-en-2-yl)cyclobutyl)]methyl (R)-2-methylbutanoate, and was similar in structure to the pheromones of several other scale and mealybug species. In laboratory bioassays, the pheromone was highly attractive to male scales in microgram doses. The pheromone will provide a very sensitive and selective tool for detection of the scale to try and prevent its permanent establishment in California.