The spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus Russell, is a tropical pest that attacks a variety of horticultural crops and ornamental plants. Seven host plants were chosen to analyse the preference of A. dispersus. Our results showed that Pterocarpus indicus (a key host) significantly attracted A. dispersus. To find attractants that could be used to control A. dispersus either by mass trapping or by monitoring as part of integrated pest management, the essential oils of seven host plants were analysed by gas chromatography coupled with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD), and the oil of P. indicus was analysed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results revealed that (±)-2-hexanol from the essential oil of P. indicus leaves elicited a strong response from the female A. dispersus antennae. Moreover, female A. dispersus was attracted to different concentrations of (±)-2-hexanol in a Y-tube olfactometer. Whether (±)-2-hexanol and the behavioural responses described here can be exploited as ecological control tools for A. dispersus is discussed.
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Vol. 22 • No. 2