Submitted to: Anais Da Sociedade Entomogica Do Brazil
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Predatory bugs in the genus Podisus (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) are potentially useful for biological control of caterpillars and beetle grubs. Pheromones have been identified for North American species, and a synthetic pheromone for the most common species (P. maculiventris) is being used to improve the biological control potential of this beneficial insect. The study here reports on the chemical ecology of 5 species of predatory bugs from South and Central America, including field-test results of synthetic pheromones for the most common South American Podisus species. The results indicate that tropical species of these kinds of predators rely on pheromones to find one another in a seasonal pattern similar to their temperate relatives. The information reported provides a basis for future work to use pheromones of these types of predators to assist biological control programs in the New World tropics.
Technical Abstract: Traps baited with synthetic pheromones for either Podisus nigrispinus (Dallas) or Supputius cincticeps (Stal) were field tested at the Universidade Federal de Vicosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, beginning September 7, 1995. No P. nigrispinus were caught but, in September and October, several adult males and females of P. distinctus (Stal) were caught along with a few adults of S. cincticeps and two females of a tachinid fly parasitoid, Cylindromyia atra Roeder. Chemical analysis of the pheromone gland extract of P. distinctus males indicated that this species produces a pheromone containing the major compounds of P. nigrispinus and S. cincticeps. Therefore, on November 6 a set of traps was baited with the pheromones of both P. nigrispinus and S. cincticeps and monitored in the field until February 6, 1996. During this second phase of the study, six times more P. distinctus were caught in the combined pheromone treatment than in traps baited only with the P. nigrispinus pheromone. The phenology of these neotropical asopines is like that for P. maculiventris (Say) in temperate North America, although fewer predators and host- seeking parasitoids were caught. Suspected pheromones were also identified for P. rostralis (Stal) from Goias, Brazil, and P. sagitta (Fabricius) from Honduras. In addition, the chemistry of other exocrine secretions from these neotropical species was investigated