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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 (2016), 89(2), 347-358

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 detailForaging wireworms are attracted to root-produced volatile aldehydes
Barsics, Fanny ULg; Delory, Benjamin M.; Delaplace, Pierre ULg et al

in Journal of Pest Science (2016)

Soil-dwelling insects are known to react to chemical cues they encounter in the rhizosphere. Whether wireworms (Coleoptera, Elateridae) use root-emitted volatile organic chemicals to localize their host ... [more ▼]

Soil-dwelling insects are known to react to chemical cues they encounter in the rhizosphere. Whether wireworms (Coleoptera, Elateridae) use root-emitted volatile organic chemicals to localize their host plant remains, however, poorly understood. Here, we aimed at identifying chemical cues released by barley roots that attract Agriotes sordidus. In a first behavioral experiment, we assessed the ability of wireworms to orient towards live barley roots, using dual-choice olfactometers suitable for belowground insects. Then, we collected the volatile organic compounds (VOC) produced by barley roots using a dynamic head-space sampling approach. VOC were quantified and identified using gas chromatography—mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The odorant blend is composed of four aldehydes, namely hexanal, (E)-hex-2-enal, (E)-non-2-enal, and (E,Z)-nona-2,6-dienal. In a second set of dual-choice bioassays, wireworms were attracted towards a synthetic blend of these four major compounds. However, the synthetic blend was not as attractive as live roots, which is partially explained by the absence of CO2, commonly known as a strong attractant for soil-dwelling insects. While CO2 indicates the presence of living material in the vicinity, we hypothesize that additional VOC inform about the plant suitability. A better understanding of these belowground signals would contribute to the development of new integrated control strategies against wireworms. [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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