The potato psyllid, Bactericero. (=Paratrioza) cockerelli (Šulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), is a major pest of potato. We examined the role of chemical signals in sex attraction, assessing male and female response to male- and female-produced volatile chemicals. In laboratory olfactometer assays, potato psyllid males were attracted to odorants emitted from live females and from solvent extract of females. These results indicate that the female-produced chemicals responsible for attracting males may be isolated by means of insect extractions. Males were also attracted to volatile chemicals from males and extracts of males, providing the first example of male—male attraction in the Psylloidea. Males exposed simultaneously to odorants from conspecific females and males were preferentially attracted to female odorants, suggesting the presence of a female-specific sex attractant for males. Potato psyllid females avoided volatile chemicals emitted by females and extracts of females and by volatile chemicals emitted by males and extracts of males. Possible explanations for avoidance of conspecifics by females are discussed. This study is the first report of male attraction to volatile chemicals emitted by females and female extracts in the Triozidae and more specifically in the potato psyllid.
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