Cook, S.M., Jönsson, M., Skellern, M.P. et al. BioControl (2007) 52: 591. doi:10.1007/s10526-006-9057-x
Hymenopterous parasitoids of herbivorous insects can be useful biocontrol agents in integrated pest management strategies. However, the potential effects on these beneficials of new components in such strategies are often neglected. Essential oil of lavender, Lavendula angustifolia (Miller) (Lamiaceae), has recently been identified as a potential repellent in new control strategies being developed for the pollen beetle Meligethes aeneus (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), a major pest of oilseed rape, Brassica napus L. (Brassicaceae). We tested the electrophysiological and behavioural responses of two common parasitoids of M. aeneus: Phradis interstitialis (Thomson) and P. morionellus (Holmgren) (both Ichneumonidae) using coupled gas chromatography-electroantennodetection (GC-EAD) and olfactometry techniques. Both species elicited electrophysiological responses to lavender oil volatiles, including two compounds known to be repellent to M. aeneus. However, the parasitoids gave no significant responses to the odours of lavender oil in behavioural bioassays and there was no evidence to suggest that lavender-treated oilseed rape plants would reduce host habitat location by parasitoids of the target pest.