Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 550–556 | Cite as

Aphid Sex Pheromone Compounds Interfere with Attraction of Common Green Lacewings to Floral Bait

  • Sándor KoczorEmail author
  • Ferenc Szentkirályi
  • John A. Pickett
  • Michael A. Birkett
  • Miklós Tóth


Common green lacewings (Chrysoperla carnea complex) form a group of generalist predators important for biological control. Several reports show attraction of these insects to plant volatiles, and a highly attractive ternary compound floral bait has been developed. With aphids being a preferred prey of larvae, one might expect these lacewings to be attracted to aphid semiochemicals, for instance, to aphid sex pheromones, as found for several other green lacewing species. However, in a previous study, we found that traps containing aphid sex pheromone compounds (1R,4aS,7S,7aR)-nepetalactol (NEPOH), (4aS,7S,7aR)-nepetalactone (NEPONE), and a ternary floral bait attracted fewer individuals than those containing the ternary floral bait alone. In the present study, possible causes for this effect of NEPOH and NEPONE on trap capture were studied. We established that C. carnea complex catches in traps with a ternary floral lure were not influenced by the presence of Chrysopa formosa individuals in traps (attracted by NEPOH and NEPONE) or by synthetic skatole (a characteristic component of Chrysopa defense secretion). A direct negative effect of NEPOH and NEPONE on attraction of C. carnea complex was found, suggesting active avoidance of these aphid sex pheromone components. This finding is surprising as the larvae of these lacewings prey preferentially on aphids. Possible mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are discussed.


Chrysoperla carnea complex Chrysopa formosa (1R,4aS,7S,7aR)-nepetalactol (4aS,7S,7aR)-nepetalactone Synthetic ternary floral bait Neuroptera Chrysopidae Biological control 



Rothamsted Research receives grant-aided support from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sándor Koczor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ferenc Szentkirályi
    • 1
  • John A. Pickett
    • 2
  • Michael A. Birkett
    • 2
  • Miklós Tóth
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, HASBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Biological Chemistry DepartmentRothamsted ResearchHarpendenUK

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