Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Laboratory and Greenhouse Evaluation of a Synthetic Host Volatile Attractant for Colorado Potato Beetle, Leptinotarsa Decemlineata (Say).

Authors
item Martel, J.W. - UNIVERSITY OF MAINE
item Alford, A.R. - UNIVERSITY OF MAINE
item Dickens, Joseph

Submitted to: Agricultural and Forest Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 30, 2004
Publication Date: February 1, 2005
Citation: Martel, J., Alford, A., Dickens, J.C. 2005. Laboratory and greenhouse evaluation of a synthetic host volatile attractant for colorado potato beetle, leptinotarsa decemlineata (say).. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 7:71-78.

Interpretive Summary: The Colorado potato beetle (CPB) is a major pest of solanaceous crops, such as potato, eggplant and tomato, and is one of the most destructive insect pests of cultivated potato in North America, Europe and Asia. CPB is well-known to develop resistance to numerous pesticides and other measures applied for its control. Alternative management strategies are desperately needed which might reduce the rate of resistance development to chemical controls and provide environmentally-sound management options for growers. A potential alternative to pesticides is deployment of behaviorally active chemicals emitted by plants that are used by the beetle for orientation to potential hosts or for avoidance of nonhosts. We report that a three component host volatile blend applied to potato plants renders the treated plant more attractive than untreated plants. Further, application of an antifeedant to plants neighboring the attractant-treated plant decreases the amount of attractant needed to observe the effect. Our results provide information for entomologists and field ecologists to use in deployment of attractants and antifeedants in the field to disrupt host colonization by CPB and suggest alternative strategies for management of CPB populations that rely on behavior modification rather than chemical pesticides.

Technical Abstract: The attractiveness of potato plants treated with a synthetic host volatile blend [(Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, (±)-linalool, and methyl salicylate] to newly-emerged and five-day-old adult Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), was compared against untreated control plants and plants treated with an azadirachtin-based antifeedant in greenhouse cage arenas. Attractant-treated plants (derived release rates of 0, 5.7, 17.1, or 57 mg hr-1) were significantly more attractive than untreated control plants to newly-emerged and five-day-old adults only at the highest treatment level used. Attractant-treated plants were significantly more attractive than antifeedant-treated plants to newly-emerged and five-day-old adults at the 5.7 mg hr-1 treatment level and higher. Mean insect density on attractant-treated plants in the Attractant/Antifeedant Study was significantly higher (+25%) than in the Attractant/Control Study. Mean insect density on antifeedant-treated plants in the Attractant/Antifeedant Study was significantly lower (-34%) than on untreated control plants in the Attractant/Control study. The attractant release rate that resulted in a significant attraction response for both age categories dropped by 90% (57 to 5.7 mg hr-1) when antifeedant-treated plants were substituted for untreated control plants. Our work established that plants treated with a synthetic host attractant are more attractive than untreated control plants and antifeedant-treated plants to both newly-emerged and five-day-old adult L. decmlineata.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014