Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2000
Publication Date: 8/1/2000
Citation: Reed, H.C., Landolt, P.J. 2000. Application of alarm pheromone to targets by southern yellowjackets (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Florida Entomologist. 83:193-196. Interpretive Summary: Novel approaches and new methods are needed to manage insect pests. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory in Yakima, WA are studying pheromones of insect pests of orchards to develop attractants for use in pest control. Yellowjacket wasps are serious stinging hazards to workers, particularly at harvest when they feed on ripe fruit. It was determined that attractive pheromones of wasps are deposited on targets when wasps attack, making the targets themselves attractive for further attack for an extended period of time. This information is useful for making recommendations to workers on how to minimize the risks of attack by wasps, and should assist researchers in isolating and identifying the chemical attractants involved.
Technical Abstract: Alarmed southern yellowjacket workers attacking corks placed near colony entrances applied an alarm pheromone that stimulated alarm and attack behavior in another colony 3 min or 15 hr after pheromone deposition. Observations of wasps attacking corks indicated deposition or application of alarm pheromone could be made both from the sting and from the mouthparts. This long lasting material may serve to mark an attacking vertebrate predator so that it is quickly detected and attacked again upon its return to a wasp colony.