Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 523–539 | Cite as

Chemical signals mediating interactions betweenGaleruca tanaceti L. (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) and its egg parasitoidOomyzus galerucivorus (Hedqvits) (Hymenoptera, Eulophidae)

  • Torsten Meiners
  • Alfred Köpf
  • Claudia Stein
  • Monika Hilker


Chemical signals mediating interactions betweenGaleruca tanaceti and its egg parasitoidOomyzus galerucivorus (Hymenoptera, Eulophidae) were studied. Neither odor of gravid females ofG. tanaceti nor volatiles of their feces were attractive to the parasitoid. However, the presence of the beetles’ feces on a substrate arrested the parasitoid and elicited frequent antennal drumming. Thus, feces may contain a kairomone important for host finding. Odors of damaged and undamaged host plants had no effect on the parasitoids.O. galerucivorus did not detect its host eggs at close range but encountered them by chance. Neither the structure nor the dark color of the egg surface play a key role in host recognition, but chemicals of the extrachorion which could be isolated by dichloromethane. Fractionation of the dichloromethane extract by TLC revealed a single active fraction which induced host recognition behavior. Since the eggs ofG. tanaceti contain anthraquinones and anthrones which are active as feeding deterrents against predators, we hypothesized that reproductive success ofO. galerucivorus is due to sequestration of these protective compounds. However, GC-MS analyses revealed that there was no transfer of them from the host egg into the adult parasitoid.

Key Words

kairomones host finding host selection anthraquinones 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Torsten Meiners
    • 1
  • Alfred Köpf
    • 2
  • Claudia Stein
    • 3
  • Monika Hilker
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für ZoologieFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Terrestrische ÖkologieETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Lehrstuhl für Tierökologie IIUniversität BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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