Although the melon fly (Dacus cucurbitae Coq.) is not known to occur on the mainland of the United States, it is found in Hawaii and in many other parts of the world. On several occassions, this economically serious pest has been intercepted at ports of entry. With increasing travel and foreign trade, the possibility of accidentally importing the melon fly from Hawaii or elsewhere is a matter of continuing concern to the agricultural community. A more effective lure is needed to detect quickly any flies that may gain entry and become established. Such a lure should be highly specific, attractive over great distances, and, if possible, long lasting. Should an infestation become established, the lure would be invaluable in guiding eradication operations by indicating where and when insecticides should be applied. In just this way, attractants aided in the rapid elimination of the Mediterranean fruit fly [Ceratitis capitata].

In 1957, Barthel and coworkers reported that anisylacetone was an effective lure for the melon fly. In the search for better lures, compounds related to anisylacetone were synthesized. Several of the them, particularly Cuelure [4-(p-acetoxyphenyl)-2-butanone], were not only much more potent than anisylacetone, but also attractive to newly emerged flies. Under optimum Hawaiian conditions, anisylacetone does not attract male melon flies until about 7 days after they emerge from pupation, and then only after they approach or attain sexual maturity. The search for an effective melon fly lure has been based on the same empirical approach that has resulted in the discovery of new insecticides, pharmaceuticals, and a host of other physiologically active substances. Briefly, many types of compounds were screened, and the structures of those exhibiting the greatest attraction were modified further to increase attractiveness. The finding of cuelure, the most effective attractant in this study, illustrated the value of volume screening as a means of discovering new insect lures.

Melon Fly
(Dacus Cucurbitae Coquillet)

CUELURE mixed in different ratios with Methyl Eugenol is used as an attractant for melon fly (Dacus Cucurbitae Coquillet). A mixture of 10% CUELURE and 90% Methyl Eugenol showed the highest attractant activity and remained for >225 days in field tests.

Specifications Sheet
CAS #: 3572-06-3
APPEARANCE: Colorless to pale yellow liquid with raspberry-like odor
BOILING RANGE: 123 - 124°C
SOLUBILITY: Insoluble in water, soluble in alcohol, hydrocarbons and ether
FLASH POINT: 174-178°C @0.1 mm
ANALYSIS: >230°F (110°C)
SUGGESTED USES: Insect pheromone
HANDLING AND SHIPPING: Stable indefinitely in aerial traps/sprays. Shipped as non-hazardous liquid by air approved.
Non-hazardous, not known toxicity to humans or animals

Copyright © 2003. Interchem Technologies.