Differences in Volatile Organic Compounds of Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae Kuwana Host Plants
Plants are constantly producing odors. These odors may differ between plant species and cultivar of plants within the same species. Natural enemies of herbivores that attack these plants may use these plant odors as cues for finding their arthropod hosts. The crapemyrtle bark scale, Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae Kuwana, has a broad host range, feeding on seven species of plants and multiple cultivars within a species. Natural enemies of this invasive insect pest likely use cues from host plants to find their insect host. With differing volatile profiles produced by different plant species and cultivars, natural enemies may be attuned to different sets of cues in finding their hosts or may be unable to find their hosts on certain species and cultivar of plant. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from different A. lagerstroemiae hosts were collected and analyzed using GC-MS. Results indicate differences in VOC profiles between cultivars of Lagerstroemia sp. as well as differences between host-plant species.