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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #306903

Research Project: Insect Management Systems for Urban Small Farms and Gardens

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory

Title: Attractiveness of harlequin bug, Murgantia histrionica (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), aggregation pheromone: field response to isomers, ratios and dose

Author
item Weber, Donald
item Cabrera Walsh, Guillermo - Fuedei
item Dimeglio, Anthony
item Abubeker, Sitra
item Leskey, Tracy
item Khrimian, Ashot

Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/24/2014
Publication Date: 11/8/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/60211
Citation: Weber, D.C., Cabrera Walsh, G.J., Dimeglio, A.S., Abubeker, S.U., Leskey, T.C., Khrimian, A. 2014. Attractiveness of harlequin bug, Murgantia histrionica (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), aggregation pheromone: field response to isomers, ratios and dose. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 10:1251-1259.

Interpretive Summary: The harlequin bug is a serious stink bug pest of cruciferous vegetables. New tools are needed for vegetable growers to manage this pest with reduced or no pesticide inputs. We investigated attractants for harlequin bugs because they could serve as a useful tool for monitoring and possibly suppressing pest populations. We discovered that the pheromone (murgantiol), which the male emits when feeding on its host plants, consists of two closely-related natural chemicals. We found that both sexes of the adults, as well as the nymphs (young) of the harlequin bug, are attracted to both components of the pheromone, but the natural blend of the two is most attractive. A less-expensive mixed preparation of the pheromone is also attractive, holding promise for efficient trapping and/or trap-cropping of this important pest in North America. The most bugs were attracted when the pheromone was deployed in the field with a host plant, collard. Results of this research will be useful to pest managers and researchers developing environmentally-friendly methods to manage vegetable pests.

Technical Abstract: A two-component sesquiterpene pheromone, (3S,6S,7R,10S)- and (3S,6S,7R,10R)-10,11-epoxy-1-bisabolen-3-ol (murgantiol), present in emissions from adult male harlequin bugs Murgantia histrionica, is most attractive in field bioassays to adults and nymphs in the naturally-occurring approximately 1.4:1 ratio. Each of the two individual synthetic stereoisomers is highly attractive to male and female adults and nymphs, but they are more attractive in combination, and when deployed with a harlequin bug host plant. Blends of 8 stereoisomers are also highly attractive, suggesting that other isomers are not repellent. Deployment of an inexpensive non-stereospecific synthetic pheromone holds promise for efficient trapping and/or trap-cropping of this important pest in North America.