Olfactory and gustatory behaviour by larvae of Lobesia botrana in response to Botrytis cinerea

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Abstract

In vineyards, larvae of Lobesia botrana (Denis and Schiffermüller) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) and Botrytis cinerea (Persoon: Fries) often occur together. This study was carried out to establish whether first instar larvae are attracted by the fungus. Olfactory and gustatory responses of larvae to the fungus were investigated on grape berry clusters (Vitis vinifera) and in two types of olfactometer. In clusters infected partly by B. cinerea, 82% of first instar larvae settled where berries had been infected. In the olfactometers, first instar larvae detected and discriminated between two tested foods. They significantly preferred synthetic media or grape berries (cv., ‘Alphonse Lavallée’ or ‘Cabernet Sauvignon‘) infected with B. cinerea to non-infected controls. The olfactory response led to 62.2% to 72.6% of the first instar larvae attracted by the fungus and the association of olfactory with gustatory responses resulted in similar rates (64.1% to 81.6%). So, the larvae were most attracted by synthetic media or grape berries infected by the fungus as compared to the controls. Olfaction appears to be the main sense involved in this attraction process.

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