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See detailDo aphids actively search for ant partners?
Fischer, Christophe ULg; Vanderplanck, Maryse; Lognay, Georges ULg et al

in Insect Science (in press)

The aphid–ant mutualistic relationships are not necessarily obligate for neither partners but evidence is that such interactions provide them strong advantages in terms of global fitness. While it is ... [more ▼]

The aphid–ant mutualistic relationships are not necessarily obligate for neither partners but evidence is that such interactions provide them strong advantages in terms of global fitness. While it is largely assumed that ants actively search for their mutualistic partners namely using volatile cues; whether winged aphids (i.e. aphids’ most mobile form) are able to select ant-frequented areas had not been investigated so far. Ant-frequented sites would indeed offer several advantages for these aphids including a lower predation pressure through ant presence and enhanced chances of establishing mutuaslistic interactions with neighbour ant colonies. In the field, aphid colonies are often observed in higher densities around ant nests, which is probably linked to a better survival ensured by ants’ services. Nevertheless, this could also result from a preferential establishment of winged aphids in ant-frequented areas. We tested this last hypothesis through different ethological assays and show that the facultative myrmecophilous black bean aphid, Aphis fabae L., does not orientate its search for a host plant preferentially towards ant-frequented plants. However our results suggest that ants reduce the number of winged aphids leaving the newly colonized plant. Thus, ants involved in facultative myrmecophilous interactions with aphids appear to contribute to structure aphid populations in the field by ensuring a better establishment and survival of newly established colonies rather than by inducing a deliberate plant selection by aphid partners based on the proximity of ant colonies. [less ▲]

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See detailHoneydew volatile emission acts as a kairomonal message for the Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
Leroy, Pascal; Heuskin, Stéphanie ULg; Sabri, Ahmed ULg et al

in Insect Science (2012), 19(4), 498-506

The Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis Pallas is considered as an invasive species in most territories where it has been introduced. Because aphid honeydew acts as an attractant for many aphid predators ... [more ▼]

The Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis Pallas is considered as an invasive species in most territories where it has been introduced. Because aphid honeydew acts as an attractant for many aphid predators and parasitoids, the objectives of this work were to collect and identify the volatile compounds released from the aphid excretory product to evaluate how these semiochemicals could affect the H. axyridis foraging behavior. Twelve volatile chemicals were identified from the Megoura viciae Buckton honeydew including four alcohols, three ketones, three aldehydes, a pyrazine and a monoterpene. The volatiles 3-methyl-1-butanol and 3-methyl-butanal were highlighted as the two most abundant semiochemicals released from the M. viciae honeydew. Vicia faba L. plants treated with crude honeydew attracted more than 80% of the tested individuals with 40% of attracted beetles located on the plant. Four volatile compounds (3-hydroxy-2-butanone, 3-methyl-butanal, 3-methyl-1-butanol and limonene) were also highlighted to attract more than 75% of the coccinellids toward the odor source and to locate about 35% of them on the plants. Limonenewas the most efficient attractant since 89% of the H. axyridis responded to this odor. The use of the identified semiochemicals aswell as the composition of an artificial honeydew could certainly be helpful to control the dispersal of the Asian lady beetle H. axyridis. [less ▲]

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See detailTesting semiochemicals from aphid, plant and conspecific: attraction of Harmonia axyridis
Leroy, Pascal ULg; Schillings, Thomas ULg; Farmakidis, Julien ULg et al

in Insect Science (2012), 19

Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is an invasive specie affecting the dynamics and composition of several guilds. Nowadays, no biological control method is available to reduce the ... [more ▼]

Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is an invasive specie affecting the dynamics and composition of several guilds. Nowadays, no biological control method is available to reduce the populations of this harmful coccinellid. Attractants and semiochemicals seem to be the best alternative but only few studies have tested the impact of semiochemicals on this Asian lady beetle. In this work, through wind-tunnel experiments, semiochemicals from aphids [Z,E-nepetalactone, (E)-β-farnesene, α-pinene and β-pinene], from coccinellids [(-)-β-caryophyllene] and from the nettle Urtica dioica L. were envisaged as potential attractants. The nettle volatile compounds [(Z)-3-hexenol and (E)-2-hexenal] were extracted using a Clevenger Apparatus® and identified by headspace-GC-MS. The main components of the aphid alarm pheromone as well as a component of the aphid sexual pheromone strongly attracted both sexes of the Asian lady beetle while (-)-β-caryophyllene only attracted few individuals and had no impact on the males. The nettle extract as well as the (Z)-3-hexenol oriented both males and females to the odour source. The (E)-2-hexenal was showed to have no effect on females even if this green leaf volatile attracted males. This study highlighted that some semiochemicals from aphids and from nettle extracts orientated the harlequin ladybird H. axyridis. These volatile compounds could certainly help for an efficient biological control approach against this invasive specie. [less ▲]

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See detailAphidophagous Guilds On Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Strips Close To Fields Of Green Pea, Rape And Wheat
Alhmedi, A.; Haubruge, Eric ULg; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

in Insect Science (2007), 14(5), 419-424

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See detailRole Of Terpenes From Aphid-Infested Potato On Searching And Oviposition Behavior Of Episyrphus Balteatus
Harmel, Nicolas ULg; Almohamad, Raki; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure ULg et al

in Insect Science (2007), 14(1),

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