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Fatal attraction: search for a dead-end trap crop for the pollen beetle (Meligethes aeneus)

Abstract

In sustainable pest management, orientation of insect pests can be manipulated by utilizing the relative attractiveness of different host plants. Plants attractive for oviposition but not offering a suitable resource for the development of larvae are called dead-end trap crops. In this study, the number of eggs and larvae and larval survival of Meligethes aeneus (Fab.) in the buds of Brassica napus L., B. rapa L., B. nigra L., B. juncea L., Eruca sativa Mill., Raphanus sativus Pers. and Sinapis alba L. were compared in 2011 and 2012. Overall infestation rate of buds varied from 0 to 71 %; the least attractive plants were S. alba and E. sativa. Egg clutch size per bud was greater on B. nigra and lower on S. alba and E. sativa than on B. napus. Dead larvae were found only in E. sativa and R. sativus buds. Over the two study years, 19 % of larvae on E. sativa and 35 % on R. sativus were dead. In conclusion, M. aeneus preferred to oviposit on Brassica species rather than on cruciferous plants from the other genera. In addition, R. sativus has the features of dead-end trap crop because 35 % of the larvae failed to survive.

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Acknowledgments

We wish to thank Kadri Pääsukene for her assistance with the statistical analyses used in this paper. This study was supported by the Estonian Science Foundation Grant 8895, the Estonian Ministry of Science and Education Grant SF0170057s09.

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Correspondence to Eve Veromann.

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Handling Editor: Heikki Hokkanen.

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Veromann, E., Kaasik, R., Kovács, G. et al. Fatal attraction: search for a dead-end trap crop for the pollen beetle (Meligethes aeneus). Arthropod-Plant Interactions 8, 373–381 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11829-014-9325-0

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Keywords

  • Brassicogethes aeneus
  • Brassica napus
  • B. rapa
  • B. juncea
  • B. nigra
  • Sinapis alba
  • Raphanus sativus
  • Eruca sativa