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Behavioral response of Podisus maculiventris to its synthetic pheromone

, : Behavioral response of Podisus maculiventris to its synthetic pheromone. Journal of Entomological Science 33(1): 72-81, Jan

A wind-tunnel bioassay was used to determine the effect of age and feeding history (starvation) on the response of Podisus maculiventris (Say) to its synthetic pheromone. Starved male and female adults showed positive anemotaxis toward the pheromone source; well-fed insects did not. This supports the hypothesis that P. maculiventris adults use the pheromone as a cue indicating presence of prey, in addition to a mating cue, although a physiological explanation for the lack of response by well-fed insects is also possible. In the presence of the pheromone, fed as well as starved insects increased activities such as extending antennae upwind; fluttering wings; and rubbing antennae, proboscis, forelegs, hindlegs, and abdomen. These activities may indicate stimulation of olfactory receptors on antennae and contact chemoreceptors elsewhere on the body. First- to third-generation offspring of field-collected P. maculiventris showed greater response to the synthetic pheromone compared with individuals from a 2-year-old laboratory colony, indicating the importance of using field-collected insects in behavioral studies. Fifth instars did not respond to the synthetic pheromone in the wind tunnel.


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