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The origin of olfactory stimuli involved in the host microhabitat location inCotesia flavipes, a parasitoid of stem-borer larvae, was investigated in a Y-tube olfactometer. The response of femaleC. flavipes towards different components of the plant-host complex, consisting of a maize plant infested with two or more larvae of the stem borerChilo partellus, was tested in dualchoice tests. The concealed lifestyle of the stem-borer larvae did not limit the emission of volatiles attractive to a parasitoid. A major source of the attractive volatiles from the plant-host complex was the stem-borer-injured stem, including the frass produced by the feeding larvae. Moreover, the production of volatiles attractive to a parasitoid was not restricted to the infested stem part but occurs systemically throughout the plant. The uninfested leaves of a stem-borer-infested plant were found to emit volatiles that attract femaleC. flavipes. We further demonstrate that an exogenous elicitor of this systemic plant response is situated in the regurgitate of a stem-borer larva. When a minor amount of regurgitate is inoculated into the stem of an uninfested plant, the leaves of the treated plant emit volatiles that attract femaleC. flavipes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Journal publication date1995

ID: 87949