, Volume 31, Issue 8, pp 1829-1843

Responses of Flea Beetle Phyllotreta cruciferae to Synthetic Aggregation Pheromone Components and Host Plant Volatiles in Field Trials

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Male-specific compounds, previously identified from Phyllotreta cruciferae and synthesized or isolated from natural sources, attracted both sexes of the beetle in field trials and therefore function as components of a male-produced aggregation pheromone. Six field experiments of 7 to 10 d duration each were conducted over 2 yr using modified boll weevil traps and two doses of pheromone. Treatments containing two doses of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), a breakdown product of glucosinolates in Brassica napus L., a host plant of the beetles, were included in the study. A dose response was observed for both the pheromone components and AITC, and combinations of the pheromone and AITC generally attracted greater numbers of flea beetles than did either component itself. This increased attraction to a combination of beetle-produced compounds and host odors has not been previously demonstrated in halticine beetles and could help explain patterns of movement by P. cruciferae into field crops.