Response of native and exotic longhorn beetles to common pheromone components provides partial support for the pheromone-free space hypothesis
Cerambycidae, Cerambycinae, invasion process, surveillance, trapping
Longhorn beetles are among the most important groups of invasive forest insects worldwide. In parallel, they represent one of the most well-studied insect groups in terms of chemical ecology. Longhorn beetle aggregation-sex pheromones are commonly used as trap lures for specific and generic surveillance programs at points of entry and may play a key role in determining the success or failure of exotic species establishment. An exotic species might be more likely to establish in a novel habitat if it relies on a pheromone channel that is different to that of native species active at the same time of year and day, allowing for unhindered mate location (i.e., pheromone-free space hypothesis). In this study, we first tested the attractiveness of single pheromone components (i.e., racemic 3-hydroxyhexan-2-one, racemic 3-hydroxyoctan-2-one, and syn-2,3-hexanediol), and their binary and tertiary combinations, to native and exotic longhorn beetle species in Canada and Italy. Second, we exploited trap catches to determine their seasonal flight activity. Third, we used pheromone-baited “timer traps” to determine longhorn beetle daily flight activity. The response to single pheromones and their combinations was mostly species specific but the combination of more than one pheromone component allowed catch of multiple species simultaneously in Italy. The response of the exotic species to pheromone components, coupled with results on seasonal and daily flight activity, provided partial support for the pheromone-free space hypothesis. This study aids in the understanding of longhorn beetle chemical ecology and confirms that pheromones can play a key role in longhorn beetle invasions.
Rassati D, Marchioro M, Flaherty L, Poloni R, Edwards S, Faccoli M & Sweeney J (2020) Response of native and exotic longhorn beetles to common pheromone components provides partial support for the pheromone-free space hypothesis. Insect Science 00: 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1111/1744-7917.12790
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