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Olfactory response by the aphidophagous gall midge, Aphidoletes aphidimyza to honeydew from green peach aphid, Myzus persicae


*Correspondence: Dr Bernard D. Roitberg, Deparment of Biological sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6 Canada. Tel.: +1 604 291 3585, 291 4512; Fax: +1 604 291 3496; E-mail:


Female adults of the aphidopagous gall midge, Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Rondani) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), showed an olfactory response to honeydew excreted by the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) under laboratory conditions. The response was only elicited by treatments with honeydew, whereas aphids, aphids with pepper plants or leaves, and pepper plants or leaves were not attractive to the midges. Dose-dependent responses were observed from whole honeydew, honeydew volatiles extracted in pentane, and honeydew volatiles captured on Porapak Q®. When honeydew was eluted with three sequential pentane washes, a positive response was only observed from the midges for the first wash. Female midges laid more eggs on pepper plants infested with higher densities of M. persicae. The olfactory response of midges to honeydew is discussed with respect to prey location.