Assessment of cues potentially mediating host selection of Leptoglossus occidentalis on Pinus contorta

Tamara A. Richardson, Ward B. Strong, Brian H. Aukema, Stephen Takàcs, Tracy Zahradnik, B. Staffan Lindgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Leptoglossus occidentalis causes significant damage in conifer seed orchards. Host selection by L. occidentalis is not completely understood. Earlier research has demonstrated a preference for certain clones of Pinus contorta, indicating that L. occidentalis responds to chemical or physical cues. The present study aimed to test whether L. occidentalis shows clonal preference across years, and to examine whether the host cues responsible for this could be identified. Surveys were conducted in a lodgepole pine seed orchard in British Columbia in 2008 and 2009. Clones were ranked based on the proportion of their ramets on which L. occidentalis was observed. Ramets were divided into three classes: (i) preferred clones with seed bugs; (ii) preferred clones without seed bugs; and (iii) nonpreferred clones with zero or very low numbers of seed bugs. From each clone, we measured infrared radiation emitted from cones, cone monoterpenes, cone size and numbers of cones per tree. Clone preference was consistent between 2008 and 2009. Clone preference classes differed significantly in α-pinene and δ-3 carene and limonene. Leptoglossus occidentalis was found more frequently on clones with cones of greater diameter and weight. Infrared radiation did not differ between clone preference classes, indicating that it is not used in host acceptance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-256
Number of pages12
JournalAgricultural and Forest Entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Kalamalka Seed Orchard for welcoming research on their premises, as well as their staff for providing research equipment and facilities; S. Smith and N. Tunbridge for field and laboratory assistance; and D. Strong, J. King, J. Neilson and K. Kirpatrick for providing field and laboratory assistance. The research was funded by a grant from the BC Forest Genetics Council Pest Management Technical Advisory Council, MITACS, and a NSERC Discovery Grant to BSL.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Royal Entomological Society


  • Host selection
  • monoterpenes
  • seed orchard
  • visual cues


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