The annual bluegrass weevil (ABW), Listronotus maculicollis Kirby, is an economically important pest of short cut turfgrass. Annual bluegrass, Poa annua L., is the most preferred and suitable host for ABW oviposition, larval survival and development. We investigated the involvement of grass volatiles in ABW host plant preference under laboratory and field conditions. First, ovipositional and feeding preferences of ABW adults were studied in a sensory deprivation experiment. Clear evidence of involvement of olfaction in host recognition by ABW was demonstrated. Poa annua was preferred for oviposition over three bentgrasses, Agrostis spp., but weevils with blocked antennae did not exhibit significant preferences. ABW behavioral responses to volatiles emitted by Agrostis spp. and P. annua were examined in Y-tube olfactometer assays. Poa annua was attractive to ABW females and preferred to Agrostis spp. cultivars in Y-tube assays. Headspace volatiles emitted by P. annua and four cultivars of Agrostis stolonifera L. and two each of A. capillaris L. and A. canina L. were extracted, identified and compared. No P. annua specific volatiles were found, but Agrostis spp. tended to have larger quantities of terpenoids than P. annua. (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, phenyl ethyl alcohol and their combination were the most attractive compounds to ABW females in laboratory Y-tube assays. The combination of these compounds as a trap bait in field experiments attracted adults during the spring migration, but was ineffective once the adults were on the short-mown turfgrass. Hence, their usefulness for monitoring weevil populations needs further investigation.
Journal of Chemical Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: May 9, 2018
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