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J Chem Ecol. 2007 Apr;33(4):801-15. Epub 2007 Mar 3.

Methyl 2,4,6-decatrienoates attract Stink bugs and tachinid parasitoids.

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  • 1USDA-ARS Chemicals Affecting Insect Behavior Laboratory, B-007, rm 313, BARC-West, Beltsville, MD, 20705, USA,


Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Pentatomidae), called the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), is a newly invasive species in the eastern USA that is rapidly spreading from the original point of establishment in Allentown, PA. In its native range, the BMSB is reportedly attracted to methyl (E,E,Z)-2,4,6-decatrienoate, the male-produced pheromone of another pentatomid common in eastern Asia, Plautia stali Scott. In North America, Thyanta spp. are the only pentatomids known to produce methyl 2,4,6-decatrienoate [the (E,Z,Z)-isomer] as part of their pheromones. Methyl 2,4,6-decatrienoates were field-tested in Maryland to monitor the spread of the BMSB and to explore the possibility that Thyanta spp. are an alternate host for parasitic tachinid flies that use stink bug pheromones as host-finding kairomones. Here we report the first captures of adult and nymph BMSBs in traps baited with methyl (E,E,Z)-2,4,6-decatrienoate in central Maryland and present data verifying that the tachinid, Euclytia flava (Townsend), exploits methyl (E,Z,Z)-2,4,6-decatrienoate as a kairomone. We also report the unexpected finding that various isomers of methyl 2,4,6-decatrienoate attract Acrosternum hilare (Say), although this bug apparently does not produce methyl decatrienoates. Other stink bugs and tachinids native to North America were also attracted to methyl 2,4,6-decatrienoates. These data indicate there are Heteroptera in North America in addition to Thyanta spp. that probably use methyl 2,4,6-decatrienoates as pheromones. The evidence that some pentatomids exploit the pheromones of other true bugs as kairomones to find food or to congregate as a passive defense against tachinid parasitism is discussed.

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