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Keywords:

  • body size;
  • host habitat location;
  • host searching;
  • pheromone;
  • Riptortus clavatus

Abstract

We conducted field experiments to examine flight orientation behavior of Ooencyrtus nezarae Ishii, an egg parasitoid of soybean feeding bugs, using sticky traps with synthetic aggregation pheromones of the host, Riptortus clavatus (Thunberg). Experiments were conducted in plots either containing a soybean field or not containing one. When the traps were suspended at heights of 0.5, 1.5 and 3.0 m above a soybean field in Kobe, O. nezarae females were most frequently caught in the 0.5 m traps. In an open field on the same campus where the vegetation was predominantly tall goldenrod, females were more frequently trapped at 1.5 or 3.0 m. In a soybean field in Kumamoto, females were most frequently trapped in the 0.8 m traps, compared to traps placed at 2.0, 4.0 and 6.0 m. In an oat field in the same area, females were trapped most frequently at heights of 0.8 and 2.0 m. Unlike females, only a small number of males were trapped in the fields in both areas. The result that O. nezarae females were caught in traps at higher positions in non-host habitats than in soybean fields probably reflects differences in host searching behavior in or movement between the habitats. In host habitats, females mainly walk on the plants or fly within the plant canopy to search for hosts. In non-host habitats, females may not intensively search for hosts within the plants, and directly respond to host pheromones in the traps at heights equal to or a little higher than the plant canopy.