Host plant volatiles play a key role in mediating plant–herbivore interactions. How an array of host plant volatiles guides host preference and attraction in the invasive polyphagous Lycorma delicatula (White), the spotted lanternfly (SLF), is largely unknown. A pernicious phloem feeder, SLF feeds on over 70 species of plants, some with high economic impact. To aid the development of detection and monitoring tools for SLF, we used a two-choice olfactometer to compare 14 host plant species for attraction, first to a blank control, and then to their preferred host Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle (Sapindales: Simaroubaceae), tree-of-heaven. SLF were significantly attracted to seven host plants compared to a blank control, but no host plant was more attractive than tree-of-heaven. We then used electroantennographic detection (EAD) to screen select host plants for EAD active compounds, hypothesizing that EAD-active plant volatiles act as kairomones and mediate SLF attraction to host plants. Out of 43 unique antennal responses, 18 compounds were identified and tested individually for attraction in a two-choice olfactometer against a blank control and then against methyl salicylate, the current best attractant. Eleven compounds were significantly attractive, and one, sulcatone, was more attractive than methyl salicylate. Blends of kairomones were then tested for attraction, revealing five blends that were significantly more attractive than methyl salicylate, and could be developed into lures for field testing.The presence of these kairomones in volatile profiles of 17 plant species is described.These findings support the hypothesis that the identified volatiles act as kairomones and function in attraction to host plants.
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Vol. 49 • No. 5