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J Chem Ecol. 1995 Jul;21(7):973-85. doi: 10.1007/BF02033802.

Multifunctional communication inRiptortus clavatus (Heteroptera: Alydidae): Conspecific nymphs and egg parasitoidOoencyrtus nezarae use the same adult attractant pheromone as chemical cue.

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Department of Insect Technology, National Institute of Sericultural and Entomological Science (NISES), 1-2 Ohwashi, 305, Tsukuba-city, Japan.


The bean bug,Riptortus clavatus lays scattered eggs (as opposed to the egg masses of pentatomids) on host as well as nonhost plants. Therefore, the first feeding stage (second-instar) nymphs emerging from eggs laid on nonhost plants need a signal that enables them to locate a food source at the lowest energy cost. Male-released (E)-2-hexenyl (E)-2-hexenoate, (E)-2-hexenyl (Z)-3-hexenoate, and myristyl isobutyrate play the double role of attractant pheromone for adults as well as aggregation pheromone, which enables the second-instar nymphs to find the host food plant. These male-specific semiochemicals are released only when foodstuff is available. On the other hand, females ofOoencyrtus nezarae, the most effective parasitoid of the host in Kumamoto, Japan (where the field experiments were conducted), utilize these semiochemicals as kairomones in order to locate the potential host community. Field experiments revealed that the synthetic pheromone rivaled 10 live males in the attraction of adults and second-instar nymphs. Captures of the egg parasitoidO. nezarae females in cylindrical sticky traps were significantly higher in traps baited with the synthetic semiochemicals than in control traps. The number of females captured was significantly higher than the number of males, although the captures in the sticky suction trap system revealed that the populations of male and female were not significantly different.


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