Attraction of Parastethorus nigripes and other insect species to methyl salicylate and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate dispensers in a citrus grove and vineyard in south-eastern Australia

Mark M. Stevens, Richard J. Faulder, Jianhua Mo, Elizabeth M. Mudford, Stephen G. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) play an important role in tritrophic interactions, and have the potential to attract beneficial arthropods into crops to enhance biological control of target pests. We conducted field trials in citrus and grapes to evaluate the response of abundant insect species to two HIPVs, methyl salicylate (MeSa) and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate. Micromus tasmaniae (Hemerobiidae) showed significant attraction to MeSa, but only in the vineyard trial. Parastethorus nigripes (Coccinellidae) was also attracted to MeSa in the vineyard, but in the second citrus trial the treatment response was just outside the nominal 5% significance level. In the first citrus trial where P. nigripes was not separated taxonomically from the closely related coccinellid Stethorus vagans, a combined analysis was undertaken and significant attraction of both coccinellid species to MeSa was also observed. There was also a significant positive combined response of P. nigripes and S. vagans to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate in the first citrus trial. Other predatory insect species did not respond to MeSa or (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate. As compared with the vineyard trial, weaker attraction of some insect species in the citrus trials may reflect high levels of background odour in the citrus orchard that could have interfered with normal insect olfactory responses. Our results support previous studies demonstrating coccinellids in the tribe Stethorini are often strongly attracted to MeSa. Deploying MeSa dispensers in vulnerable crops could attract increased numbers of P. nigripes, enhancing the biological control of pest tetranychid mites in Australian horticultural systems and reducing or eliminating the need for miticide applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-649
Number of pages11
JournalPhytoparasitica
Volume45
Issue number5
Early online dateOct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2017

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