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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Chemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #60360


item Gazit, Yoav
item Lewis, Wallace
item Tumlinson Iii, James

Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The fall armyworm is an important agricultural pest that attacks a variety of crops in the U.S. and in the Caribbean Basin. Development of methods to use natural enemies to control this pest, without negative effects on the environment, is a worthwhile research objective. One of the key elements influencing the overall success of natural enemies is their ability to locate their prey. Many predators and parasitic wasps rely on chemical signals, or odors, to find their prey. Scientists at the USDA, ARS, Insect Attractants, Behavior and Basic Biology Research Laboratory, in Gainesville, Florida, are investigating the role of chemicals associated with the eggs of fall armyworm in facilitating host location by the parasitic wasp Telenomus remus. Chemical extracts of the eggs cause the wasps to halt their movements and perform a careful examination of the surrounding area for the presence of hosts. In this study the behaviors of the parasitic wasp in response to extracts of host eggs are reported. This knowledge will be useful in developing effective methods for rearing high quality parasitic wasps and for releasing them in the field to obtain maximum benefit for biological control.

Technical Abstract: Telenomus remus Nixon females, but not males, were arrested after contacting kairomone(s) obtained by extracting eggs of Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith). Bioassays, monitoring the retention of the wasp in an area treated with the kairomone(s), were used to characterize this response. The retention time in the treated area was affected by dose of the kairomone and also by the dimensions of the treated area. Female wasps were most sensitive to the kairomone, and were arrested for a longer period, at the beginning of the scotophase. Maximal response was exhibited by young, 2- to 4- day-old wasps. The wasps were arrested also by kairomone(s) obtained by extracting whole bodies of adult male or female moths.