Strategies of a bark beetle, Pityogenes bidentatus, in an olfactory landscape

J A Byers, Q H Zhang, G Birgersson
Die Naturwissenschaften 2000, 87 (11): 503-7
Volatiles from leaves or bark of nonhost birch (Betula pendula) and Norway spruce (Picea abies) dramatically reduced the attraction of the bark beetle, Pityogenes bidentatus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), to their aggregation pheromone components (cis-verbenol and grandisol) in the field. In addition, odors from both the needles and bark of the host Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) similarly inhibited attraction. Monoterpenes of pine and spruce (alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, terpinolene, and 3-carene) as well as ethanol, chalcogran and some nonhost green leaf alcohols [(Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, (E)-2-hexen-1-ol, and 1-hexanol], also reduced catches. Collections of volatiles from the field-tested plant tissues indicated they released monoterpenes in amounts similar to the synthetics that inhibited responses. The various plant and insect sources of these inhibitory compounds indicate that P. bidentatus bark beetles have evolved several strategies to increase their fitness by avoiding nonhost and unsuitable host trees in a complex olfactory landscape.

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