Volatile attractants for three Pteromalid parasitoids attacking concealed spruce bark beetles
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The odour perceptive abilities, and preferences, of three bark beetle parasitoid species; Rhopalicus tutela (Walker), Roptrocerus mirus (Walker), and Roptrocerus xylophagorum (Ratzeburg) (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), were investigated to isolate and identify the essential compounds involved in host location. These parasitoids attack several economically important bark beetle species and oviposit preferentially on late larval stages concealed under the bark of conifers. Odours were collected from Norway spruce logs (Picea abies L. Karst.) containing Ips typographus L. (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) larvae. Biologically active compounds were isolated by coupled gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD), and identified by GC-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Based on these analyses, four different synthetic baits were prepared and tested in a Y-tube walking bioassay. In the complex odour samples from spruce logs, only 16 compounds were EAD-active. The tested R. tutela and R. mirus females displayed similar trends in antennal activity to EAD-active compounds, responding mainly to oxygenated monoterpenes that indicate damaged conifers. Consequently, the synthetic baits were exclusively prepared with oxygenated monoterpenes. Parasitoid females (R. tutela and R. mirus) preferred spruce logs containing susceptible hosts over fresh logs, while male parasitoids (R. mirus) did not show any preference. However, when odours from fresh logs were mixed with synthetic baits (mimicking the odour composition of logs containing susceptible hosts), these combinations attracted female parasitoids (R. tutela, R. mirus, and R. xylophagorum). All synthetic baits seemed to be equally attractive to female parasitoids.
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