Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

First insights into the chemical ecology of an invasive pest: olfactory preferences of the viburnum leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

Abstract

The viburnum leaf beetle (VLB), Pyrrhalta viburni (Paykull), is an invasive chrysomelid in North America where it infests native Viburnum shrubs in woody areas and managed landscapes. Despite its invasive and destructive nature, little is known about the chemical ecology of this beetle, and efficient chemical lures for monitoring and trapping this insect have yet to be developed. Using two of the main host plants of VLB in its native range, Viburnum opulus L. (Caprifoliaceae) and V. lantana L., we examined the olfactory preferences of adult females of VLB under laboratory conditions and measured volatile emissions of Viburnum twigs with and without VLB damage. VLB females had a clear preference for V. opulus and V. lantana twigs compared to blank odor sources. In addition, twigs with foliar damage and fresh egg masses were found to be more attractive than noninfested twigs in V. opulus when VLB infestation was recent, but not when twigs had been infested for several weeks. Chemical analyses revealed consistent treatment-specific blends of compounds, which may be used for the elaboration of attractive lures. Future research should focus on the identification of these compounds and on exploring the olfactory preferences of VLB with Viburnum species present in North America.