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J Chem Ecol. 1987 Apr;13(4):959-75. doi: 10.1007/BF01020175.

Semiochemical attractants ofDiabrotica undecimpunctata howardi barber, southern corn rootworm, andDiabrotica virgifera virgifera leconte, the western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

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Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, 61801, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.


During the summers of 1984 and 1985, a variety of structurally related benzenoid compounds was evaluated in sweet corn plots as attractants for adult southern corn rootworms (SCR), western com rootworms (WCR), and northern corn rootworms (NCR). Field response to the volatiles was measured by beetle counts on baited cylindrical sticky traps placed inside the corn plots at a height of l m above ground level. SCR adults were attracted late in the season (last week of August through September, 1984 and 1985) to numerous aromatic compounds, including phenylacetaldehyde, benzyl acetone, phenethyl alcohol, phenyl acetate, indole, veratrole, methyl eugenol, methyl isoeugenol, eugenol, and isoeugenol. Although many compounds attracted SCR adults late in the season, only veratrole, phenylacetaldehyde, and chavicol were significantly active in early and middle August 1985. WCR adults were attracted to a different group of compounds, namely estragole,trans-anethole, and indole. Estragole (4-methoxy-1-allylbenzene) was an effective WCR attractant from corn tasseling in early August 1985, until the end of the trapping period in late September and early October 1985. Indole andtrans-anethole (4-methoxy-1-propenylbenzene) were less effective attractants than estragole and were most active at the beginning and/or end of the corn season. Traps baited with 100 mg of estragole caught an average of 20 times more WCR adults than unbaited control traps, and the females outnumbered the males in the baited traps. Estragole dosage tests were conducted in three sweet corn plots on different dates in 1985 and the minimum effective dose ranged between 5 and 30 mg/trap. Field tests with structural analogs revealed the importance of the site of unsaturation in the allylic side chain of estragole and the effect of different ring substituents on WCR response. The phenylpropanoids, eugenol and isoeugenol, significantly attracted NCR adults, even though these beetles were in low abundance in the test corn plots. Field tests indicate there is no cross-species response by WCR and NCR adults to their related phenylpropanoid attractants. However, in late August, SCR adults do respond to some WCR and NCR attractants (indole and several eugenol analogs). Electroantennographic analysis of SCR males revealed they can perceive peripherally a wide range of benzenoid compounds.


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