Journal of chemical ecology

The involvement of volatile infochemicals from spider mites and from food-plants in prey location of the generalist predatory mite Neoseiulus californicus.

PMID 16132210


We investigated volatile infochemicals possibly involved in location of the generalist predatory mite Neoseiulus californicus to plants infested with spider mites in a Y-tube olfactometer. The predators significantly preferred volatiles from lima bean leaves infested with Tetranychus urticae to uninfested lima bean leaves. Likewise, they were attracted to volatiles from artificially damaged lima bean leaves and those from T. urticae plus their visible products. Significantly more predators chose infested lima bean leaves from which T. urticae plus their visible products had been removed than artificially damaged leaves, T. urticae, and their visible products. These results suggest that N. californicus is capable of exploiting a variety of volatile infochemicals originating from their prey, from the prey-foodplants themselves, and from the complex of the prey and the host plants (e.g., herbivore-induced volatiles). We also investigated predator response to some of the synthetic samples identified as volatile components emitted from T. urticae-infested lima bean leaves and/or artificially damaged lima bean leaves. The predators were attracted to each of the five synthetic volatile components: linalool, methyl salicylate, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, (E)-2-hexenal, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate. The role of each volatile compound in prey-searching behavior is discussed.

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