Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/17/2008
Publication Date: 3/15/2008
Citation: Rohrig, E.A., Sivinski, J.M., Teal, P.E., Stuhl, C.J., Aluja, M. 2008. A floral-derived compound attractive to the tephritid fruit fly parasitoid Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology. 34:549-557.
Interpretive Summary: Fruit fly pests could be better controlled by mass-released natural enemies if their numbers, dispersal and survival were efficiently monitored. One potential source of attractants is the foods sources exploited by adult parasitoids. Scientist at the ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida collected the odors coming off two flowers, one attractive to a widely mass-reared fruit fly parasitoid and the other not attractive. The principle difference between the odors was the chemical acetaphenone. This chemical alone was then found to attract female parasitoids. Further studies will combine this floral attractant with the smells of other foods in order to create a practical trapping system.
Technical Abstract: Many adult hymenopteran parasitoids, even host-feeding species, consume the nectar of flowering plants. Previous field studies had identified plants attractive (Lobularia maritima L.) and unattractive (Spermacoce verticillata L) to certain opiine braconids (Hymenoptera). Under laboratory conditions, Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Ashmead), a parasitoid of tephritid fruit fly larvae and representative opiine, responded in flight tunnels to L. maritima but not to S. verticillata. Volatile chemicals of the two flowers were collected and analyzed using capillary gas liquid chromatography and mass spectral analysis. Acetophenone was isolated from L. maritima but not from S. verticillata. In flight tunnels, D. longicaudata were exposed to 10 concentrations (doses) of acetophenone. Female parasitoids showed a significant attraction to several acetophenone doses, with concentrations of 25 and 50 ng the most attractive. No odor source, either floral or floral-derived, was attractive to male parasitoids. Reliable trapping systems for parasitoid species, particularly species such as D. longicaudata used for augmentative biological coontrol, would be a valuable monitoring tool. At the present time, there are few, if any, florally-derived synthetic lures for attracting hymenopteran parasitoids.