Florida Entomologist (1997) 80, 383-395

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Catherine Bertschy, Ted C.J. Turlings, Anthony C. Bellotti and Silvia Dorn (1997)
Chemically-mediated attraction of three parasitoid species to mealybug-infested cassava leaves
Florida Entomologist 80 (3), 383-395
Abstract: We investigated whether cassava plants that are infested by the cassava mealybug, Phenacoccus herreni (Pseudococcidae, Sternorrhyncha), emit attractants for the encyrtid parasitoids Aenasius vexans Kerrich, Apoanagyrus (Epidinocarsis) diversicornis Howard, and Acerophagus coccois Smith. Bioassays with a Y-tube olfactometer showed for all three species that female wasps were most responsive and selective when they were 1.5 to 2.5 days old. Females of these age groups were used to test their ability to distinguish between the odor of plants with and without mealybugs. The wasps were offered choices between infested cassava leaves vs. healthy ones, infested leaves vs. clean air, and healthy leaves vs. clean air. A. vexans and A. diversicornis were strongly attracted to infested leaves and preferred these over healthy ones. In contrast, A. coccois was significantly attracted to either healthy or infested leaves, and did not distinguish between the two. The results suggest that A. coccois, which has the broadest known host range of the three, may be responsive only to general plant odors, while A. vexans and A. diversicornis respond more specifically to odors associated with mealybug infestation.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Full text of article
Database assignments for author(s): Ted C.J. Turlings

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
environment/habitat manipulation
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Phenacoccus herreni Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Colombia
Apoanagyrus diversicornis (parasitoid) Phenacoccus herreni Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Colombia
Acerophagus coccois (parasitoid) Phenacoccus herreni Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Venezuela
Aenasius vexans (parasitoid) Phenacoccus herreni Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Venezuela