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      Olfactory responses of Theocolax elegans (Hymenoptera, Pteromalidae) females to volatile signals derived from host habitats

      Journal of Hymenoptera Research

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The responses of female Theocolax elegans (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) to volatile signals derived from its host habitats were investigated in a static four-chamber olfactometer. Our results demonstrated that T. elegans females, irrespective of experience, were apparently attracted by the odors released from the faeces of Sitophilus zeamais larvae and adults, which has never been investigated in previous researches. Moreover, we compared the responses of female parasitoids to odors released from grains of rice damaged by S. zeamais larvae, S. zeamais males, S. zeamais females, and mechanically. Artificially damaged grains do not emit large amounts of the volatiles that attract experienced parasitoid females to grains damaged by S. zeamais larvae. Further experiments revealed that experienced T. elegans females were more strongly attracted to rice grains which had been infused with extract from the heads and thoraxes of weevil larvae than to rice grains that had been infused only with sodium phosphate. The behavior of T. elegans females to odors released from pheromone-releasing S. zeamais males on healthy grains and unmated S. zeamais females on healthy grains were observed. The results revealed that S. zeamais aggregation pheromones are not useful signals for T. elegans females, irrespective of experience. Based on these observations, T. elegans females used faeces to detect potential hosts. Our results revealed that head and thorax of S. zeamais larvae induces rice grains to release volatiles attractive to T. elegans females, particularly after experience.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Host Selection by Insect Parasitoids

           S. B. VINSON (1976)
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            The Role of Pheromones, Kairomones, and Allomones in the Host Selection and Colonization Behavior of Bark Beetles

             D. Wood (1982)
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              Plant chemistry and natural enemy fitness: effects on herbivore and natural enemy interactions.

               Paul J Ode (2005)
              Tremendous strides have been made regarding our understanding of how host plant chemistry influences the interactions between herbivores and their natural enemies. While most work has focused on plant chemistry effects on host location and acceptance by natural enemies, an increasing number of studies examine negative effects. The tritrophic role of plant chemistry is central to several aspects of trophic phenomena including top-down versus bottom-up control of herbivores, enemy-free space and host choice, and theories of plant defense. Furthermore, tritrophic effects of plant chemistry are important in assessing the degree of compatibility between biological control and plant resistance approaches to pest control. Additional research is needed to understand the physiological effects of plant chemistry on parasitoids. Explicit tests are required to determine whether natural enemies can act as selective forces on plant defense. Finally, further studies of natural systems are crucial to understanding the evolution of multitrophic relationships.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Hymenoptera Research
                JHR
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2607
                1070-9428
                April 28 2016
                April 28 2016
                : 49
                : 95-109
                Article
                10.3897/JHR.49.7697
                © 2016
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