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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 #319241

Title: Pharmacophagy in green lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae:Chrysopa spp.)

item ALDRICH, JEFFREY - Retired ARS Employee
item Chauhan, Kamlesh
item ZHANG, QING-HE - Sterling International, Inc

Submitted to: Peer J Computer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/14/2015
Publication Date: 1/18/2016
Citation: Aldrich, J.R., Chauhan, K.R., Zhang, Q. 2016. Pharmacophagy in green lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae:Chrysopa spp.). Chemoecology. 4:e1564.

Interpretive Summary: Green lacewings are valuable predators sold commercially for biological pest control, principally for aphids in greenhouses. A potential alternative to buying and releasing lacewings for biocontrol, would be the attraction of wild lacewings to pest infestations using chemical attractants (pheromones). Earlier we identified the pheromone of the so-called goldeneyed lacewing, the first lacewing pheromone identified for any of the more than 1200 known species of lacewings. The goals of this research were to determine if attraction to the pheromone can be increased by addition of certain other natural compounds from plants and the insects themselves, and to establish a laboratory rearing protocol useful for future efforts to identify pheromones of new kinds of lacewings. A method was also successfully developed to rear goldeneyed lacewings, but laboratory-reared males did not produce any pheromone, despite their healthy appearance and apparently normal fertility. Evidence is presented suggesting that males of the goldeneyed lacewing and other kinds of lacewings must ingest pheromone precursors in order to produce pheromone. This information is of interest to researchers and growers working on ways to more effectively utilize green lacewings for biocontrol. Understanding how lacewings make pheromones will be important for future efforts to identify other lacewing pheromones potentially useful for biological pest control.

Technical Abstract: Field-collected male goldeneyed lacewings, Chrysopa oculata, release (1R,2S,5R,8R)-iridodial but, laboratory-reared C. oculata males did not produce iridodial, despite their healthy appearance and apparently normal fertility. Previous research showed that C. oculata males enter traps baited with iridodial, while females are drawn to the vicinity of, but seldom enter pheromone-baited traps, presumably because females attract males at close-range via substrate-borne vibrations. Results of current field tests revealed that C. oculata males had a slight preference for deciduous forest versus coniferous forest sites. Data from the present and past studies implicates methyl salicylate as a pheromone synergist, while other compounds tested (i.e. ß-caryophyllene, 2-phenylethanol and skatole) had little effect on attraction of goldeneyed lacewing males. The possibility that Chrysopa males must ingest pheromone precursors, either from plants or prey, in order to produce (1R,2S,5R,8R)-iridodial is discussed.