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Male-biassed response of garden chafer, Phyllopertha horticola L., to leaf alcohol and attraction of both sexes to floral plant volatiles

Summary.

Field tests were performed to evaluate the response of the garden chafer, Phyllopertha horticola (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) to known scarab attractants and to investigate the influence of trap colour and height on the number of captured beetles. Both sexes were attracted by a lure mixture composed of geraniol, eugenol, and 2-phenylethyl propionate (PEP) (ratio 3:7:3). When testing floral volatiles individually, only geraniol, eugenol and methyl anthranilate but not PEP was attractive. Response of garden chafer to (Z)- 3-hexen-1-ol was strongly male-biassed. Both the response to floral volatiles and (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol was increased by using funnel traps with yellow instead of grey vanes. Traps positioned at 50 and 125 cm above ground captured significantly more garden chafers than those at 200 cm. The strongly male-biassed response to (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol suggests that in P. horticola (subfamily Rutelinae) orientation towards plant volatiles emitted upon mechanical damage of plants is part of the male mate finding strategy as recently demonstrated for cockchafers of the genus Melolontha (subfamily Melolonthinae). Possible application of plant volatiles for control of P. horticola is discussed.

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Correspondence to Joachim Ruther.

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Ruther, J. Male-biassed response of garden chafer, Phyllopertha horticola L., to leaf alcohol and attraction of both sexes to floral plant volatiles . Evolutionary, Mechanistic and Environmental Approaches to Chemically-Mediated Interactions 14, 187–192 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00049-004-0271-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00049-004-0271-7

Key words.

  • plant volatiles
  • field tests
  • (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol
  • attractant
  • Phyllopertha horticola
  • Scarabaeidae