Variation in flight response of the specialist parasitoid Macrocentrus grandii Goidanich to odours from food plants of its European corn borer host

Sujaya Rao, Richard L. Jones

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19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The specialist parasitoid Macrocentrus grandii Goidanich (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) appears to parasitize its polyphagous host, European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner)) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), in only certain habitats. To determine whether it differed in its olfactory response to host‐habitat odours, volatiles from four plants were isolated using Tenax. Wind tunnel bioassays of the extracts revealed that, besides corn which was tested in an earlier study, olfactory stimuli for attraction of M. grandii females were present in potato and snap bean but not in pepper or soybean. To further characterize the response to pepper and soybean, these extracts were bioassayed in combination with an attractive extract. The results indicated that pepper volatiles evoked a neutral response in M. grandii while response to soybean volatiles appeared to be neutral or slightly negative. The innate response to soybean volatiles was altered to one of attraction after oviposition experience on soybean. Seven days after oviposition, experienced females continued to respond positively to soybean volatiles. Components of soybean volatiles responsible for the change in flight behaviour resulting from oviposition experience were eluted by nonpolar and slightly polar solvents. These results support the idea that plant odour may be a factor determining the range of plants on which M. grandii parasitizes its host. The study indicates the occurrence of associative learning of plant‐related volatiles during oviposition in M. grandii, and suggests the involvement of diverse plant compounds in the learning process. 1993 The Netherlands Entomological Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-193
Number of pages11
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Volume69
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1993

Keywords

  • European corn borer
  • Macrocentrus grandii
  • flight response
  • plant volatiles
  • wind tunnel

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