, Volume 25, Issue 8, pp 1813-1826

Olfactory Reception of Conspecific Aggregation Pheromone and Plant Odors by Nymphs of the Predator, Podisus maculiventris

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Olfactory reception of 23 odorants, including plant volatiles and male-produced aggregation pheromone, by third and fifth instars of the spined soldier bug (SSB) Podisus maculiventris was investigated by using electroantennograms (EAGs). Both nymphal stages were sensitive to male-produced aggregation pheromone components (E)-2-hexenal, benzyl alcohol, and α-terpineol. The plant volatile, (E)-2-hexen-1-ol (a chemical known to be released by plants in response to prey feeding over the short-term), elicited the largest EAGs of all volatiles tested. While third instars were sensitive to nonanal, only fifth instars responded to both nonanal and (±)-linalool, both compounds released systemically by plants in response to feeding by potential prey. Antennal extirpation experiments showed that sensilla responsive to hexan-1-ol, (E)-2-hexenal, and α-terpineol are situated mainly on the terminal antennal segment. The results support the hypothesis that P. maculiventris nymphs use both plant volatiles and pheromone components in locating potential prey and other behaviors.