Feeding by Pieris brassicae or P. rapae caterpillars on Brussels sprouts plants induces the emission of synomones that attract natural enemies of the caterpillars, Cotesia glomerata, a generalist parasitoid, and C. rubecula, a specialist on P. rapae. Previous research on this tritrophic system has identified a large number of volatiles in the headspace of herbivore-damaged Brussels sprouts plants, and this paper addresses the question which of these volatiles are perceived by the two parasitoid species. Headspace odors from both P. brassicae- and P. rapae-damaged Brussels sprouts plants were analyzed by coupled gas chromatography electro- antennogram (GC-EAG) detection. Twenty volatiles evoked consistent EAG reactions in the antennae of both species and nineteen of these volatiles could be identified with GC-MS. One component that could not be identified due to its low concentration, evoked EAG responses in antennae of C. rubecula only. Possible consequences for searching behavior of the two parasitoid species are discussed. [KEYWORDS: Lepidoptera – Pieridae – Hymenoptera – Braconidae – Cotesia glomerata – Cotesia rubecula – Brussels sprouts – Brassicae oleracea – GC-EAG – tritrophic interactions – specialist – generalist]
Original languageEnglish
Journal publication date2002

ID: 296521