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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Differential Attraction to Plant Chemical Volatiles by Rolled Leaf Beetles (Hispinae, Chrysomelidae). Do a Community of Tropical Herbivores Use Different Chemical Cues to Find Their Hosts?

item Garcia-Robledo, C. - UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
item Epsky, Nancy
item Heath, Robert

Submitted to: National Meeting of Entomological Society Of America
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 17, 2005
Publication Date: December 17, 2005
Citation: Garcia-Robledo, C., Horvitz, C.C., Epsky, N.D., Heath, R.R. 2005. Differential attraction to plant chemical volatiles by rolled leaf beetles (hispinae, chrysomelidae). Do a community of tropical herbivores use different chemical cues to find their hosts?. 53rd National Meeting of Entomological Society Of America. Program Addendum, DO300. p.34.

Technical Abstract: Searching for a suitable host plant is a difficult task for insect herbivores, especially in the tropical rain forest where host plant densities are low. Rolled leaf beetles (Hispinae, Chrysomelidae) are a ubiquitous group of herbivores in the neotropical rain forests that feed on plants from the order Zingiberales (Costaceae, Heliconiaceae, Marantaceae, Zingiberaceae). This research explores in 13 species of rolled leaf beetles from the Peruvian Amazonas and Costa Rica, their degree of attraction specificity to volatile chemicals from: 1) their own host plant 2) plants from the same genus not used as hosts or 3) plants from other families of Zingiberales. Twelve of the beetle species showed a strong attraction to leaf volatiles emitted by their hosts. For the three species of beetles tested for attraction specificity to leaf volatiles from their host and non-host congeners, two displayed a significant attraction for their hosts. The four beetle species tested for attraction to different Zingiberales families displayed different capabilities of detecting volatile chemicals from their host or from other Zingiberales. In choice experiments, when volatile chemicals from their host or from other Zingiberales were simultaneously offered, attraction to host volatiles varied among species from highly specific to no preference. This variation in the response to volatile chemicals from host plants or other closely related Zingiberales makes rolled leaf beetles an ideal group in which to investigate how a community of insect herbivores uses volatile chemicals to search their hosts.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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