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Aphelinus asychis (Walker) can be valuable as a biocontrol agent of the aphid, Schizaphis graminum (Rondani), a major pest on grain crops in the United States. This study reports the wind tunnel, and olfactometric responses of this parasitoid to the host (aphid), plant (sorghum), and host-plant complex (aphid-infested sorghum). In addition, the parasitoids' response to malathion-treated plants is also presented. The goal of the present study was to test the hypothesis that volatiles associated with the host attract natural enemies, as reported in cases of many hymenopterous parasitoids, and also to learn about the effects of insecticides on these parasitoids. In wind tunnel studies, these parasitoids moved upwind in the direction of the host-infested plant. There was no direct flight observed, however, these parasitoids were observed to hop and jump, and sometimes walk to their host. In the olfactometer experiments, we found that A. asychis is attracted to host-plant complex. The parasitoids' response to malathion in the olfactometer suggested that a malathion formulation when applied to plants can lure these beneficials, thus providing new insight into the ongoing task of integrating chemical and biological control of insect pests.
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author list (cited authors)
Rao, A., Vinson, S. B., Gilstrap, F. E., & Michels, G. J
complete list of authors
Rao, A||Vinson, SB||Gilstrap, FE||Michels, GJ