Odorants of the Flowers of Butterfly Bush, Buddleja davidii, as Possible Attractants of Pest Species of Moths

Christelle Guédot, Peter J. Landolt, Constance L. Smithhisler

Abstract


Flowers of the butterfly bush, Buddleja davidii Franch., are visited by butterflies as well as other insects. Night captures revealed also that moths visit butterfly bush flowers. Moths captured in traps over flowers included 12 species of Noctuidae, 6 species of Pyralidae, 2 species of Geometridae, and 1 tortricid species. The majority of moths trapped at these flowers were cabbage loopers, Trichoplusia ni (Hübner), and alfalfa loopers, Autographa californica (Speyer). Both males and females were captured at butterfly bush flowers. Additionally, butterflies, bees, wasps, flies, and other insects also were captured. Analysis of volatile compounds collected from air over clusters of butterfly bush flowers yielded the consistent presence of nine chemicals: benzaldehyde, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, hexyl acetate, 4-oxoisophorone, (E,E)-a-farnesene, (Z)-cinnamaldehyde, dihydrooxoisophorone, ß-cyclocitral, and oxoisophorone oxide. Emitted amounts of these floral odorants averaged 57 ng per h per floret or 21 µg per h per flower cluster (raceme). Five of those floral chemicals, benzaldehyde, 4-oxoisophorone, dihydrooxoisophorone, oxoisophorone oxide, and (E,E)-a-farnesene triggered antennal responses in cabbage looper moths, while benzaldehyde, oxoisophorone oxide, and 4-oxoisophorone also stimulated antennal responses in alfalfa looper moths. Some of these compounds may be attractants or co-attractants for moths and play a key role in locating flowers as nectar sources.

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