Polistes paper wasps in the Fuscopolistes subgenus (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) can be serious pests when they swarm at tall man-made structures. Chemical attractants may be useful to trap such paper wasps when they achieve pest status. Polistes venom has been shown to elicit a variety of behavioral responses in congeneric wasps, making it a source for potential chemical attractants. The compound N-(3-methylbutyl)acetamide is a principal volatile component in the venom of many female vespid wasps, including numerous Polistes species. We report the presence of N-(3-methylbutyl)acetamide in autumn gynes of Polistes metricus Say, Polistes bellicosus Cresson, and Polistes dorsalis (F.), as well as workers of Polistes aurifer (Saussure), P. bellicosus, P. metricus, and P. dorsalis. In field tests conducted in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Washington, N-(3methylbutyl)acetamide attracted male and female P. aurifer and P. metricus, as well as male P. dorsalis and P. bellicosus. Thus, N-(3-methylbutyl)acetamide may be a useful lure for trapping these paper wasps in pest situations.
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Vol. 113 • No. 3