Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 549-557

First online:

A Floral-Derived Compound Attractive to the Tephritid Fruit Fly Parasitoid Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

  • Eric RohrigAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology and Nematology, University of FloridaUSDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology
  • , John SivinskiAffiliated withUSDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology Email author 
  • , Peter TealAffiliated withUSDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology
  • , Charles StuhlAffiliated withUSDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology
  • , Martin AlujaAffiliated withInstituto de Ecología

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Many adult hymenopteran parasitoids, even host-feeding species, consume the nectar of flowering plants. Previous field studies had identified plants attractive (Lobularia maritima L.) and unattractive (Spermacoce verticillata L) to certain opiine braconids (Hymenoptera). Under laboratory conditions, Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Ashmead), a parasitoid of tephritid fruit fly larvae and representative opiine, responded in flight tunnels to L. maritima but not to S. verticillata. Volatile chemicals of the two flowers were collected and analyzed by using capillary gas liquid chromatography and mass spectral analysis. Acetophenone was isolated from L. maritima but not from S. verticillata. In flight tunnels, D. longicaudata were exposed to 10 concentrations (doses) of acetophenone. Female parasitoids showed a significant attraction to several acetophenone doses, with concentrations of 25 and 50 ng the most attractive. No odor source, either floral or floral-derived, was attractive to male parasitoids. Reliable trapping systems for parasitoid species, particularly species such as D. longicaudata used for augmentative biological control, would be a valuable monitoring tool. At present, there are few, if any, florally derived synthetic lures for attracting hymenopteran parasitoids.


Acetophenone Opiinae Traps Biological control Flowers