Volatiles mediating parasitism of Euschistus conspersus and Halyomorpha halys eggs by Telenomus podisi and Trissolcus erugatus.
This study identified chemicals found on the eggs of two stink bug species, one native to western North America, Euschistus conspersus, and an invasive species from Asia, Halyomorpha halys. The responses of two scelionid egg parasitoids, Trissolcus erugatus and Telenomus podisi, toward natural stink bug egg volatiles, and synthetic reconstructions of egg volatiles, were tested in bioassays. A compound, methyl (2E,4Z)-2,4-decadienoate, previously identified as the major component of the male-produced aggregation pheromone of E. conspersus, was the major volatile identified from extracts of E. conspersus eggs. In contrast, for H. halys, the sesquiterpenoids that compose the male-produced aggregation pheromone of this species were not detected on eggs, whereas the presence of hexadecanal, octadecanal, and eicosanal was detected. In laboratory olfactometer tests, both Tr. erugatus and Te. podisi females were attracted to extracts of E. conspersus eggs, and to synthetic methyl (2E,4Z)-2,4-decadienoate. However, female Tr. erugatus and Te. podisi wasps were repelled, both by extracts of H. halys eggs and by a blend of the aldehydes identified from H. halys eggs. A follow-up field study, using hexane-washed and intact E. conspersus as sentinel eggs, showed that the parasitoids Trissolcus erugatus and Gryon obesum emerged from these eggs. Sentinel hexane-washed eggs treated with 3 ng of methyl (2E,4Z)-2,4-decadienoate were parasitized more by these two species than were hexane-washed or unwashed eggs, whereas hexane-washed eggs treated with a comparable dose of the C16,18,20 aldehyde mixture were avoided by these parasitoids. In a further field experiment, Trissolcus basalis was the primary parasitoid found in sticky traps baited with methyl (2E,4Z)-2,4-decadienoate, indicating that this species was attracted to, but either did not oviposit or develop in the E. conspersus sentinel eggs in the previous experiment.