Attraction of the larval parasitoid Spintherus dubius (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) to feces volatiles from the adult apion weevil host

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The behavioral response of the larval parasitoid Spintherus dubius (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) to volatile compounds derived from its Apion weevil hosts was investigated in two-choice bioassays. Odor source candidates were the larval and adult stages of weevils, clover flowers, and feces from adult weevils. Despite S. dubius being a larval parasitoid, the odor of weevil larvae isolated from the clover flowers was not attractive to female parasitoids. Surprisingly, S. dubius females were instead attracted by the odor from the feces of adult weevils. The female parasitoids were similarly attracted to the feces produced by the two main hosts, the red clover weevil (A. trifolii) and the white clover weevil (A. fulvipes). Chemical analysis of the volatile composition of feces produced by the two hosts revealed qualitatively similar odor profiles, correlating with the observed attraction by the parasitoid towards both odor sources. Some of the identified volatile compounds are commonly present in clover plant headspace fractions and may function as a kairomone to facilitate orientation by S. dubius to Apion-infested clover flowers. Larval and adult weevils were not attractive for parasitoid females, whereas, for the white clover weevil-plant association, infested flowers were highly attractive. These data show the use by the clover weevil parasitoid of an alternative source of olfactory information for locating its host.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Zoologi
  • Ekologi
  • Annan kemi


Sidor (från-till)119-129
Antal sidor11
TidskriftJournal of Insect Behavior
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2017 jan 1
Peer review utfördJa

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