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J Chem Ecol. 2003 Apr;29(4):931-44.

Volatile compounds released by disturbed and calm adults of the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris.

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  • 1Center for Environmental Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6.


Volatile compounds released by disturbed and calm female and male Lygus lineolaris were collected and analyzed. Six major compounds were present in samples from disturbed bugs and from calm females: (E)-2-hexenal, 1-hexanol, (E)-2-hexenol, hexyl butyrate, (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate, and (E)-2,4-oxohexenal. (E)-2-hexenal was lacking in volatiles collected from calm males. Hexyl butyrate accounted for approximately 68% and 66% of volatiles released by agitated and calm females, and 87% and 88% of volatiles released by agitated and calm males, respectively. Blends released by disturbed insects differed quantitatively from blends released by calm insects, with amounts of compounds increasing 75-350 times in samples from disturbed insects. In static air bioassays, both females and males were repelled by natural volatiles collected from females and by five-component [(E)-2,4-oxohexenal excluded] and six-component synthetic blends at doses of 1 and 10 bug-hours, indicating that these volatiles may serve an alarm or epideictic function, as well as a possible role as defensive allomones. Adults also avoided hexyl butyrate, (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate, (E)-2-hexenol, and (E)-2,4-oxohexenal, but not 1-hexanol and (E)-2-hexenal when compounds were assayed individually in static air bioassays at doses equal to 1 bug-hour. When tested over 1 day in two-choice cage trials, adults did not prefer untreated bean plants over bean plants surrounded by vials releasing up to 8.1 mg/hr (= 234 bug-hours) of the five-component synthetic blend. Therefore, the volatiles produced by disturbed adults would not be useful as a repellent for L. lineolaris.

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