Feeding preference of the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliver) toward Phoenix canariensis Hortum ex Chabaud
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), commonly called the red palm weevil (RPW), is one of the most severe palm pests of the tropics and Mediterranean countries. In these latter countries, this pest attacked mainly Phoenix canariensis, the most used ornamental palm for gardens and urban green spots. However, still is not understood if this preference for this host palm is determined by the attractiveness of its volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or to resistance/avoidance mechanisms present in the other palm species. In this study we investigate, in electro-physiological and behavioral experiment, the role of the P. canariensis VOCs in this host preference behavior versus other three palm species: Chamaerops humilis, Trachycarpus fortunei and Washingtonia filifera. In EAG recordings P. canariensis VOC extracts, elicited a stronger response on RPW antennae rather than solvent or C. humilis extract, while similar responses were recorded using W. filifera and T. fortunei extracts. In dual choice arena bioassays, females of RPW showed feeding preference for the P. canariensis in comparison with T. fortunei and C. humilis. Overall, the present findings suggest that this preference behavior is mediated by VOCs emitted.
Arif, M.A., Lo Bue, P., Peri, E., Colazza, S. and Guarino, S. (2023). Feeding preference of the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliver) toward Phoenix canariensis Hortum ex Chabaud. Acta Hortic. 1371, 105-110
EAG, bioassays, Chamaerops humilis, Trachycarpus fortunei, Washingtonia filifera