Submitted to: Journal of Kansas Entomological Society
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2006
Publication Date: 8/11/2006
Citation: Mackenzie, J.K., Landolt, P.J., Zack, R.S. 2006. Attraction to peony (Paeonia, Paeoniaceae) by Polistes dominulus (Hympenoptera: Vespidae) demonstrated using Y-tube and parallel tube olfactometeters. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 79(3): 231-238. Interpretive Summary: The European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominulus) has invaded much of the USA over the past 25 years. It damages fruit and constitutes a stinging hazard to farmworkers and gardeners when fruit is harvested. Non-pesticidal methods are needed to reduce populations. Scientists at the USDA-ARS lab at Wapato, Washington are studying the behavior of P. dominulus to discover novel chemical attractants. The wasp was found to be attracted to the odor of buds of peony plants on which it likely feeds at for sugar and prey. The chemicals that form the bud odor can potentially be identified, put into lures, and in turn, placed in properly designed traps to safely monitor and manage P. dominulus.
Technical Abstract: Observations of Polistes dominulus Christ on budding Paeonia spp. were made in the spring of 2004 in Yakima County, Washington. Y-tube and parallel tube olfactometer experiments were performed on field-collected spring queens and female workers to determine if peony odor is attractive to P. dominulus. During these experiments, P. dominulus showed a significant orientation response toward peony bud odor compared to the control; they did not show a significant orientation response toward peony foliage odor. Peony bud volatiles were collected in an adsorbent trap and tested in a parallel tube olfactometer for attractiveness to P. dominulus females. The wasp took significantly less time to travel upwind in the peony bud volatile tube compared to the control tube.