A Semiochemical Slow-release Formulation in a Biological Control Approach to Attract Hoverflies
E-β-Farnesene, the alarm pheromone of many aphid species, and E-β-caryophyllene are considered as two sesquiterpenes attractive for aphid predators, among which Syrphidae species. Both compounds were formulated in alginate gel beads as slow-release devices in a biological control approach against aphids. Semiochemical diffusion from beads was studied in the laboratory according to abiotic parameters. Efficiency of formulations as hoverfly attractant was demonstrated in field experiments from June to August 2009.
The diffusion of semiochemicals from alginate bead formulations was principally limited by high values (>85%) of relative humidity in the air. Temperature also impacts the release of volatile compounds. In field experiments, these two abiotic factors were supposed to highly condition the trapping of hoverflies. These field trappings demonstrated the efficiency of both semiochemical formulations compared to control (formulation without semiochemical) to catch females of Syrphidae during three months.
This research proved the efficiency of semiochemical alginate formulations as potential biological control tool to attract aphid predators.
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