Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1505–1515 | Cite as

Cotesia glomerata Female Wasps Use Fatty Acids from Plant–Herbivore Complex in Host Searching

  • Mayumi Horikoshi
  • Junji Takabayashi
  • Shuichi Yano
  • Ryohei Yamaoka
  • Naota Ohsaki
  • Yoshibumi Sato


Cotesia glomerata parasitizes early instars of the cabbage butterfly,Pieris rapae, in Japan. Female wasps antennatedRorippa indica leaves damaged by feeding ofP. rapae larva, but ignored artificially damaged leaves. Females also antennated filter paper containingR. indica leaf juice plusP. rapae regurgitant. Chemical analysis revealed five compounds in higher amounts in the infested edges of leaves than in artificially damaged edges. Among them, we identified palmitic acid, oleic acid, and stearic acid. Female wasps antennated filter paper containing each of these three acids. We discuss the function of these acids in the tritrophic context.

Cotesia glomerata Pieris rapae Rorippa indica plant–herbivore complex palmitic acid oleic acid stearic acid tritrophic interaction antennation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. DICKE, M. 1994. Local and systemic production of volatile herbivore-induced terpenoids: Their role in plant-carnivore mutualism.J. Plant Physiol. 143:465–472.Google Scholar
  2. DICKE, M.,VAN BEEK, T. A.,POSTHUMUS, M. A.,BEN DOM, N.,VAN BOKHOVEN, H., andDE GROOT, Æ. 1990. Isolation and identification of a volatile kairomone that effects acarine predator-prey interactions: Involvement of host plant in its production.J. Chem. Ecol. 16:381–396.Google Scholar
  3. GABEL, B., andTHIÉRY, D. 1996. Oviposition response ofLobsia botrana females to long-chain free fatty acids and esters from its eggs.J. Chem. Ecol. 22:161–171.Google Scholar
  4. GEERVLIET, J. B. F.,VET, L. E. M., andDICKE, M. 1994. Volatiles from damaged plants as major cues in long-range host-searching by the specialist parasitoidCotesia rubecula.Entomol. Exp. Appl. 73:289–297.Google Scholar
  5. HIBBARD, B. E.,BERNKLAU, E. J., andBJOSTAD, L. B. 1994. Long-chain free fatty acids: Semiochemicals for host location by western corn rootworm larvae.J. Chem. Ecol. 20:3335–3344.Google Scholar
  6. HWANG, Y.-S.,SCHULTS, G. W., andMULLA, M. S. 1984. Structure-activity relationship of unsaturated fatty acids as mosquito ovipositional repellents.J. Chem. Ecol. 10:145–151.Google Scholar
  7. LE CONTE, Y.,ARNORD, G.,TROUILLER, J.,MASSON, C.,CHAPPE, B., andOURISSON, G. 1989. Attraction of the parasitic miteVarroa to the drone larvae of honey bees by simple aliphatic esters.Science 245:638–639.Google Scholar
  8. MATTIACCI, L., andDICKE, M. 1995. Host-age discrimination during host location byCotesia glomerata, a larval parasitoid ofPieris brassicae.Entomol. Exp. Appl. 76:37–48.Google Scholar
  9. MATTIACCI, L.,DICKE, M., andPOSTHUMUS, M. A. 1994. Induction of parasitoid attracting synomone in Brussels sprouts plants by feeding ofPieris brassicae larvae: Role of mechanical damage and herbivore elicitor.J. Chem. Ecol. 20:2229–2247.Google Scholar
  10. RICKLI, M. 1992. Palmitic acid released from honeybee worker larvae attracts the parasitic miteVarroa jacobsoni on a servosphere.Naturwissenshaften 79:320–322.Google Scholar
  11. SATO, Y. 1979. Experimental studies on parasitization byApanteles glomeratus. V. Factors leading a female to the host.Physiol. Entomol. 4:63–70.Google Scholar
  12. SATO, Y. 1988. The World of Parasitic Wasps. Tokai University Press, Tokai (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  13. SHIMODA, T.,TAKABAYASHI, J.,ASHIHARA, W. andTAKAFUJI, A. 1997. Response of the predatory insectScolothrips takahashii toward herbivore-induced plant synomone under both laboratory and field conditions.J. Chem. Ecol. 23:(in press).Google Scholar
  14. TAKABAYASHI, J., andDICKE, M. 1996. Plant-carnivore mutualism through herbivore-induced carnivore attractants.Trends Plant Sci. 1:109–113.Google Scholar
  15. TAKABAYASHI, J.,DICKE, M., andPOSTHUMUS, M. A. 1991. Induction of indirect defense against spider-mites in uninfested Lima bean leaves.Phytochemistry 30:1459–1462.Google Scholar
  16. TAKABAYASHI, J.,DICKE, M.,TAKAHASHI, S., andPOSTHUMUS, M. A. 1994a. Leaf age affects composition of herbivore-induced synomones and attraction of predatory mites.J. Chem. Ecol. 20:373–386.Google Scholar
  17. TAKABAYASHI, J.,DICKE, M., andPOSTHUMUS, M. A. 1994b. Volatile herbivore-induced terpenoids in plant-mite interactions: variation caused by biotic and abiotic factors.J. Chem. Ecol. 20:1329–1354.Google Scholar
  18. TAKABAYASHI, J.,DICKE, M.,TAKAHASHI, S., andPOSTHUMUS, M. A. 1995. Effect of the developmental stage of the herbivore on the production of herbivore-induced synomone.J. Chem. Ecol. 21:273–287.Google Scholar
  19. THIÉRY, D., andGABEL, B. 1993. Inter-specific avoidance of egg-associated semiochemicals in four tortricids.Experientia 49:998–1001.Google Scholar
  20. THIÉRY, D.,GABEL, B.,FARKAS, P., andJARRY, M. 1995. Egg dispersion in codling moth: Influence of egg extract and of its fatty acid constituents.J. Chem. Ecol. 21:2015–2026.Google Scholar
  21. TROUILLER, J.,ARNOLD, G.,CHAPPE, B.,LE CONTE, Y., andMASSON, C. 1992. Semiochemical basis of infestation of honey bee brood byVarroa jacobsoni.J. Chem. Ecol. 18:2041–2053.Google Scholar
  22. TURLINGS, T. C. J.,TUMLINSON, J. H.,HEATH, R. R.,PROVEAUX, A. T., andDOOLITTLE, R. E. 1991. Isolation and identification of allelochemicals that attract the larval parasitoid,Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson), to the microhabitat of one of its hosts.J. Chem. Ecol. 17:2235–2251.Google Scholar
  23. TURLINGS, T. C. J.,WÄCKERS, F. L.,VET, L. E. M.,LEWIS, W. J., andTUMLINSON, J. H. 1993. Learning host-finding cues by hymenopterous parasitoids, pp. 51–78,in D. R. Papaj and A. C. Lewis (eds.). Insect Learning. Chapman & Hall, New York.Google Scholar
  24. VET, L. E. M., andDICKE, M. 1992. Ecology of infochemical use by natural enemies in a tritrophic context.Annu. Rev. Entomol. 37:141–172.Google Scholar
  25. WHITMAN, D. W. 1988. Allelochemical interactions among plants, herbivores and their predators, pp. 11–64,in P. Barbosa and D. K. Letoumeau (eds.). Novel Aspects of Insect-plant Interactions. Wiley Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  26. WHITMAN, D. W., andELLER, F. J. 1990. Parasitic wasps orient to green leaf volatiles.Chemoecology 1:69–75.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mayumi Horikoshi
    • 1
  • Junji Takabayashi
    • 2
  • Shuichi Yano
    • 2
  • Ryohei Yamaoka
    • 1
  • Naota Ohsaki
    • 3
  • Yoshibumi Sato
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Applied BiologyKyoto Institute of TechnologyMatsugasaki, Sakyo-ku, KyotoJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Ecological Information, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Kyoto College of Medical TechnologySonobe, Funai-gun, KyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations