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Insects. 2019 Feb 1;10(2). pii: E43. doi: 10.3390/insects10020043.

Attraction of Female Aedes aegypti (L.) to Aphid Honeydew.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. dan@danpeach.net.
2
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. mgries@sfu.ca.
3
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. nathan_young@sfu.ca.
4
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. robyn_lakes@sfu.ca.
5
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. eqgallow@sfu.ca.
6
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. Santosh_kumar@sfu.ca.
7
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. elton_ko@sfu.ca.
8
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. lyamyl@sfu.ca.
9
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. gries@sfu.ca.

Abstract

Plant sugar is an essential dietary constituent for mosquitoes, and hemipteran honeydew is one of the many forms of plant sugar that is important to mosquitoes. Many insects rely on volatile honeydew semiochemicals to locate aphids or honeydew itself. Mosquitoes exploit volatile semiochemicals to locate sources of plant sugar but their attraction to honeydew has not previously been investigated. Here, we report the attraction of female yellow fever mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, to honeydew odorants from the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, and the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, feeding on fava bean, Vicia faba. We used solid phase micro-extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to collect and analyze headspace odorants from the honeydew of A. pisum feeding on V. faba. An eight-component synthetic blend of these odorants and synthetic odorant blends of crude and sterile honeydew that we prepared according to literature data all attracted female A. aegypti. The synthetic blend containing microbial odor constituents proved more effective than the blend without these constituents. Our study provides the first evidence for anemotactic attraction of mosquitoes to honeydew and demonstrates a role for microbe-derived odorants in the attraction of mosquitoes to essential plant sugar resources.

KEYWORDS:

Acyrthosiphon pisum; Aedes aegypti; Myzus persicae; Vicia faba; honeydew; honeydew odorants; microbe-emitted odorants; mosquito olfaction; mosquito sugar feeding

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