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See detailThe scent of love: how important are semiochemicals in the sexual behavior of lady beetles?
Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg; Verheggen, François ULg

in Journal of Pest Science (in press)

Chemical signals are involved in the courtship behavior of many invertebrate and vertebrate species. Lady beetles are no exception to this rule; a significant number of published reports highlight the ... [more ▼]

Chemical signals are involved in the courtship behavior of many invertebrate and vertebrate species. Lady beetles are no exception to this rule; a significant number of published reports highlight the role of cuticular chemicals involved in the reproduction of lady beetles, including gender recognition. Recent data have also demonstrated the presence of a volatile female sex pheromone that facilitates male attraction in some species. Here, we present a synthetic overview of the current knowledge about the sexual behavior of lady beetles and associated chemicals for which the function and identification have been provided. Because lady beetles are often reared as biological control agents, the chemical cues involved in their sexual behavior could be used as components in integrated management approaches against soft-bodied hemipterans. In conclusion, this review provides new perspectives and potential developments for sustainable insect management mainly based on the semiochemicals involved in the sexual behavior of lady beetles. A better understanding of these chemical signals would help maximize their presence in areas where their predatory behavior is requested, as a result of the application of formulations inducing behavioral manipulation. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst evidence of deuterotokous parthenogenesis in the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULg; Haubruge, Eric ULg; Verheggen, François ULg

in Journal of Pest Science (2012)

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), originates from South America and is now considered to be one of the most damaging invasive pests of tomatoes in the Mediterranean Basin ... [more ▼]

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), originates from South America and is now considered to be one of the most damaging invasive pests of tomatoes in the Mediterranean Basin countries of Europe and North Africa. The preventing pest mating control methods include: (1) the use of synthetic pheromones for male attraction and annihilation inside insecticide-containing traps; (2) mating disruption by saturating the atmosphere with sex pheromones which alter the ability of males to locate females; and (3) massive applications of sterile males to alter the overall reproductive success of the pest population. However, all these methods achieve only a poor success rate in controlling T. absoluta populations under greenhouse conditions. Sex pheromone management and sterile insect techniques are both based on an important biological trait: the insect must breed through sexual reproduction. Here, we report for the first time laboratory evidence of deuterotokous parthenogenesis, an asexual reproduction where both males and females are produced from unfertilized eggs. We discuss the consequences for T. absoluta control strategies. [less ▲]

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