Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 447-457

First online:

Kairomonal effect of an aphid cornicle secretion onLysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae).

  • Tessa R. GrasswitzAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, University of California
  • , Timothy D. PaineAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, University of California

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In laboratory bioassays, whole-body homogenates and fresh cornicle wax of Rhopalosiphum padi(L.) (the bird-cherry oat aphid) elicited antennal examination and attack behavior in naive females of the polyphagous aphidiid parasitoid, Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson). No such response was elicited by either homogenates or cornicle wax of Aphis nerii(Boyer de Fonscolombe) (another known host of the parasitoid) or by preparations of the aphid alarm pheromone, (E)-β-farnesene. The response to R. padiproducts was independent of rearing host and appears to be innate. Application of R. padicornicle wax to the dorsum of a nonhost aphid [Acythosiphum pisum(Harris)] increased the frequency with which this species was attacked by L. testaceipes.There was a tendency for the kairomonal activity of the cornicle secretion to decline as the wax dried, although parasitoid attack behavior was still elicited by wax which had been allowed to dry for up to 30 min before testing.

Key words

aphid cornicle secretion parasitoid kairomone Lysiphlebus testaceipes