• Behaviour;
  • chemical blends;
  • Chrysomelidae;
  • insect;
  • host plant;
  • Leptino- tarsa decemlineata;
  • plant attractant;
  • potato;
  • Solanum tuberosum


1 Behavioural responses of the Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), to volatiles emitted from solanaceous host plants (potato and tomato), a non-host legume (soybean), and 13 synthetic blends or three individual chemicals emitted by potato plants were investigated in laboratory bioassays.

2 Both male and female CPB were attracted to volatiles emitted by mechanically damaged potato foliage, but not to mechanically damaged tomato foliage; CPB offered a choice between the two damaged solanaceous plants did not show a preference.

3 Among 16 odourous blends or individual chemical components of potato plant emissions tested, six blends were attractive, two were repellent, and eight elicited no preference in laboratory bioassays. Volatile blends containing relatively high amounts of the green leaf volatiles (E)-2-hexen-1-ol and (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, or the sesquiterpene β- caryophyllene, were unattractive or repellent. Minimal blends attractive to CPB were comprised of (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate (±)-linalool and methyl salicylate: the combination of all three chemicals elicited sexually dimorphic attraction of males; two component blends comprised of (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate and either (±)-linalool and methyl salicylate attracted both sexes. Individual compounds were inactive. No significant difference was noted between two attractive blends, or an attractive synthetic blend vs. mechanically damaged potato foliage.

4 These results show that CPB are attracted to blends of specific chemicals emitted by their host plants and provide a basis for the use of plant attractants as a component of integrated management of pestiferous populations.