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Courtship behavior and identification of a sex pheromone in Ibalia leucospoides (Hymenoptera: Ibaliidae), a larval parasitoid of Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae).

Authors
  • Faal, Hajar1, 2
  • Silk, Peter J3
  • Mayo, Peter D3
  • Teale, Stephen A1
  • 1 Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York-Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY, USA.
  • 2 Forest Pest Methods Laboratory (Otis Laboratory), USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST, Buzzards Bay, MA, United States of America. , (United States)
  • 3 Natural Resources Canada, Atlantic Forestry Centre, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
PeerJ
Publisher
PeerJ
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
Volume
9
Identifiers
DOI: 10.7717/peerj.12266
PMID: 34760353
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Ibalia leucospoides (Hymenoptera: Ibaliidae) is a larval parasitoid that has been widely introduced as a biological control agent for the invasive woodwasp,Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) in the Southern Hemisphere. In this study, the courtship behavior and identificaion of sex pheromones are described for I. leucospoides under laboratory conditions. For courtship behavior, both sexes were observed in a wire mesh observation cylinder (75 cm length ×10 cm diameter) for 15 minutes. The female body washes were analyzed using Gas Chromatography- Electroantennographic Detection (GC-EAD). Then the EAD-active compounds were tentatively identified using GC-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and examined in olfactometer assays. The courtship behavior included rhythmic lateral movements, mounting, head-nodding cycles in males, and wing-fanning in females. GC-EAD analysis of female body washes with male antennae revealed seven compounds which elicited antennal responses, four of which are straight-chain alkanes (C23, C25, C26, and C27). The identities of these alkanes were confirmed by matching the retention times, mass spectra, and male antennal activity to those of commercially obtained chemicals. In olfactometer assays, a blend of the four straight-chain alkanes was attractive to I. leucospoides males, and there was no response to blends that lacked any of these four compounds. Female body wash was no more attractive than the four-component blend. The ratios of EAD-active components differ between hydrocarbon profiles from males and females. This study is the first investigation of cuticular hydrocarbons in the family Ibaliidae. It provides evidence that the ubiquitous alkanes (C23, C25, C26, and C27) in sex-specific ratios attract I. leucospoides males. ©2021 Faal et al.

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