Attraction of the egg parasitoid, Gonatocerus ashmeadi Girault (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) to synthetic formulation of a (E)-beta-ocimene and (E,E)-alpha-farnesene mixture
Glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar), is a vector of the xylem-inhabitant bacterium Xylella fastidiosa Wells et al., which causes Pierce's disease of grapevines. Current GWSS control strategies in California, USA include area-wide insecticide applications and mass release of mymarid egg parasitoids, including Gonatocerus ashmeadi Girault. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to identify (E)-beta-ocimene and (E,E)-alpha-farnesene as volatiles emitted from grapevines on which GWSS had previously fed and oviposited. Attractiveness of female G. ashmeadi to sugar-based formulations containing either (E)-beta-ocimene, (E,E)-alpha-farnesene, or a mixture of both was evaluated using Y-tube olfactometry. When exposed to synthetic formulation containing a mixture of (E)-beta-ocimene and (E,E)-alpha-farnesene vs. blank control, 61% of G. ashmeadi females initially chose the synthetic formulation. After the initial choice for a Y-tube arm, females visited the Y-tube arm connected to the source of formulation more often than it did to the arm connected to a blank control. There was no difference in the female's time spent in the arm connected to the formulation. When testing formulations containing either (E)-beta-ocimene or (E,E)-alpha-farnesene alone, there was a 1:1 ratio between the proportion of parasitoid's first choice, visits, and residence time. Results suggest that synthetic formulations containing mixtures of certain plant volatiles may be used to localize GWSS egg parasitoids in vineyard systems. Results are discussed in the context of potential applications in GWSS biological control programs. Published by Elsevier Inc.