The role of pollen odour in the attraction of pollen beetles to oilseed rape flowers

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Cook, S. M., Bartlet, E., Murray, D. A. and Williams, I. H. 2002. The role of pollen odour in the attraction of pollen beetles to oilseed rape flowers. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 104 (1), pp. 43-50.

AuthorsCook, S. M., Bartlet, E., Murray, D. A. and Williams, I. H.
Abstract

The role of pollen odour in resource location by the pollen beetle, Meligethes aeneus (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), a pollen-feeding insect regarded as a pest of oilseed rape, Brassica napus L., (Brassicaceae) crops, was investigated in a linear track olfactometer. Both male and female beetles were attracted to the odour of whole oilseed rape flowers, indicating that these insects can locate their host plants using floral odours as cues. The attractive odour of flowers was found to emanate from all floral parts tested: the petals/sepals, the anthers, and from pollen itself. Therefore, at least part of the attractive odour of oilseed rape flowers emanates from pollen. Beetles were more attracted to floral samples containing anthers than those without anthers when these odours were directly compared in a choice-test, and this indicates that there were detectable differences between them. Anthers and pollen may therefore release distinctive odours that are quantitatively and/or qualitatively different from the odour of the rest of the flower. These experiments support the hypothesis that pollen-seeking insects use pollen odour cues to locate this food source.

KeywordsEntomology
Year of Publication2002
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Journal citation104 (1), pp. 43-50
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1046/j.1570-7458.2002.00989.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or code436
445
509
513
ISSN00138703
0013-8703
PublisherWiley

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