Intraspecific attraction and host tree selection by adult Capnodis tenebrionis

Rakefet Sharon, Shoshi Peles, Dvorah Gordon, Ally Harari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Management of the peach flatheaded rootborer, Capnodis tenebrionis, a major pest of stone-fruit orchards in the Mediterranean area, is based on preventive measures, due to insufficient information on the pest population levels, and the ineffective methods aimed at monitoring the adults. This study aimed at elucidating the role of chemical communication between adults, and the involvement of the host tree as a meeting point for males and females. This information may assist in setting the base for a monitoring procedure for the beetle population and the development of baits to lure the beetle to a trap. We detected no sexual communication signals or kairomonal effects through bioassays of airborne beetles' or host plants' volatiles. We found that volatile cues, originating from either healthy or stressed nitrogen-rich host trees, attract the adults into a confined area. Thus, we conclude that beetles are attracted to nitrogen-rich trees. It is suggested that visual cues may be used to locate conspecifics on a chosen tree, and tactile stimuli may then be applied to distinguish females from males. A female seeking a suitable tree for oviposition may follow volatile cues originating from a stressed nitrogen-rich tree accompanied by other stress characteristics volatiles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalIsrael Journal of Plant Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Zvi Mendel, Victoria Soroker, Liora Shalitiel, and Shaul Ben Yehuda for their comments on earlier drafts, as well as beetle collection and handling. We also want to thank three anonymous referees for their helpful comments. This research was funded by the Chief Scientist of the Israel Department of Agriculture 05-1359-131.


  • Capnodis tenebrionis
  • host trees
  • nitrogen
  • peach flatheaded rootborer
  • sexual communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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