Home » Volume 3 / 1999 » Issue 4 »
Cotton Fleahopper (Heteroptera: Miridae) Responses to Volatiles from Selected Host Plants
Kenneth R. Beerwinkle and Henry F. Marshall
Full Text PDF (137K)
Several field studies have indicated that cotton fleahoppers (Pseudatomoscelis seriatus Reuter) prefer some wild host plants instead of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). The relative attractiveness of volatiles from selected host plants to adult cotton fleahoppers was determined in a series of two-choice olfactometer bioassays. We found that fleahoppers were attracted by volatiles from each of three flowering wild hosts - false ragweed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.), croton (Croton capitatus Michx.), and horsemint (Monarda punctata L.) - in preference to volatiles from squaring cotton. The insects preferred false ragweed volatiles to those of croton and horsemint, which were comparable in attractiveness. Revolatilized chemical compounds, collected from the head-space volatiles of each of the three wild host plants tested, retained their attractiveness. These results indicate reasonably good potential for successful isolation and identification of the preferred attractants, and the subsequent development of synthetic mimic attractants that may be useful in the development of new attractant-based biorational management techniques for cotton fleahoppers.