Role of volatile semiochemicals in host location by the egg parasitoid Anagrus breviphragma

Elisabetta Chiappini, Gianandrea Salerno, Alessia Berzolla, Alessia Iacovone, Maria Cristina Reguzzi, Eric Conti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Recent investigations conducted on several tritrophic systems have demonstrated that egg parasitoids, when searching for host eggs, may exploit plant synomones that have been induced as a consequence of host oviposition. In this article we show that, in a system characterized by host eggs embedded in the plant tissue, naı¨ve females of the egg parasitoid Anagrus breviphragma Soyka (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) responded in a Y-tube olfactometer to volatiles from leaves of Carex riparia Curtis (Cyperaceae) containing eggs of one of its hosts, Cicadella viridis (L.) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). The wasp did not respond to host eggs or to clean leaves from non-infested plants compared with clean air, whereas it showed a strong preference for the olfactometer armcontaining volatiles of leaves with embedded host eggs, compared with the arm containing volatiles of leaves from a non-infested plant or host eggs extracted from the plant.When the eggs were removed from an infested leaf, the parasitoid preference was observed only if eggs were added aside, suggesting a synergistic effect of a local plant synomone and an egg kairomone. The parasitoid also responded to clean leaves from an egginfested plant when compared with leaves from a non-infested plant, indicating a systemic effect of volatile induction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Carex riparia
  • Cicadella viridis
  • Cicadellidae
  • Cyperaceae
  • Hemiptera
  • Hymenoptera
  • Mymaridae
  • VOCs
  • host selection behaviour
  • indirect plant defences
  • induced synomones
  • oviposition


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of volatile semiochemicals in host location by the egg parasitoid Anagrus breviphragma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this