Responses of the stem borer larval endoparasitoid Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) to plant derived synomones: Laboratory and field cage experiments

Esther N. Ngumbi, Adele J. Ngi-Song, Eliud N.M. Njagi, Rita Torto, Lester J. Wadhams, Michael A. Birkett, John A. Pickett, William A. Overholt, Baldwyn Torto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Laboratory and field cage experiments investigated the response of females of the stem borer larval endoparasitoid Cotesia flavipes to two synthetic synomone components, the terpenoid (E)-β-farnesene and the green leaf volatile, (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, both compounds identified previously in headspace volatiles of maize plants damaged by stem borer (Chilo partellus). In dose response tests performed in a Y-tube olfactometer, parasitoids were significantly more attracted to the arms bearing 10 or 15 μg of (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate and (E)-β-farnesene than to the control arm. (E)-β-Farnesene was as attractive as the essential oil from the plant Hemizygia petiolata (Lamiaceae) rich in the same compound (80% relative amount). The plant essential oil elicited responses from females of the parasitoid comparable to those elicited by two positive controls, stem borer larval frass and adult parasitoid diet (20% honey solution), tested in the laboratory assays. In field cage trapping experiments, captures in traps baited with the terpenoid, the plant essential oil, (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate and the control of 20% honey solution, were not significantly different relative to captures in unbaited traps. Addition of the green leaf volatile (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate to the plant essential oil to yield a 1:1 two-component blend captured significantly more female parasitoids than traps baited with either of the two components alone. The results show that blends of green leaf volatiles and sesquiterpenoids may have potential in monitoring C. flavipes populations in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-279
Number of pages9
JournalBiocontrol Science and Technology
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chilo partellus
  • Cotesia flavipes
  • Olfactometer
  • Parasitoid
  • Synomone
  • Trap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science

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