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Individual study: Attracting carnivorous arthropods with plant volatiles: the future of biocontrol or playing with fire?

Published source details

Kaplan I. (2012) Attracting carnivorous arthropods with plant volatiles: the future of biocontrol or playing with fire? Biological Control, 60, 77-89


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use chemicals to attract natural enemies Natural Pest Control

A review (Kaplan 2012) of 35 studies found that 29 of 37 tested plant chemicals attracted and increased numbers of at least some natural enemy species or groups, although most chemicals also led to no response from other species or groups. One study (Titayavan & Altieri 1990) found that aphid (Aphidoidea) parasitism increased from 8.5% to 22.5% when broccoli Brassica oleracea was treated with allyl isothiocyanate. Williams et al. (2008) found two to three times more tarnished plant bug Lygus lineolaris egg parasitism when the chemicals (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate and α-farnesene were applied to cotton Gossypium hirsutum. One study (James & Price 2004) found densities of predatory insects were four times greater in hops Humulus lupulus baited with methyl salicylate compared to unbaited controls. Average numbers of minute pirate bugs Orius tristicolor and spider mite destroyers Stethorus punctum picipes were seven and 57 times greater (respectively) in baited than unbaited plots across the season. Another study in cotton (Flint et al. 1981) found that predatory beetle Collops vittatus numbers increased (from 0 to 2.7, 3.3 and 7.6 trap catches) as doses of synthetic caryophyllene oxide increased (0.0, 0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 g, respectively). James (2006) also found a dosage effect, with twice as many green lacewings Chrysopa oculata on traps baited with 99% methyl salicylate compared with 1% and 10% dilutions.

Additional references:

Flint H.M., Merkle J.R. & Sledge M. (1981) Attraction of male Collops vittatus in the field by caryophyllene alcohol. Environmental Entomology, 10, 301-304

James D.G. (2006) Methyl salicylate is a field attractant for the goldeneyed lacewing, Chrysopa oculata. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 16, 107-110

James D.G. & Price T.S. (2004) Field-testing of methyl salicylate for recruitment and retention of beneficial insects in grapes and hops. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 30, 1613-1628

Titayavan M. & Altieri M.A. (1990) Synomone-mediated interactions between the parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae and Brevicoryne brassicae under field conditions. Entomophaga, 35, 499-507

Williams L., Rodriguez-Saona C., Castle S.C. & Zhu S. (2008). EAG-active herbivore induced plant volatiles modify behavioral responses and host attack by an egg parasitoid. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 34, 1190-1201