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Short‐distance attraction of saproxylic Heteroptera to olfactory cues

Koban, Marcel B., Gossner, Martin M., Müller, Jörg, Steidle, Johannes L. M., Bässler, Claus, Hothorn, Torsten, Unsicker, Sybille B., Seibold, Sebastian, Leather, Simon R.
Insect conservation and diversity 2016 v.9 no.3 pp. 254-257
Aradus, dead wood, field experimentation, fruiting bodies, fungi, hosts, insects, microhabitats, mycelium, olfactometers, wood
As dead wood is ephemeral, saproxylic insect species must be able to effectively locate new resources via, e.g. olfactory cues. Although saproxylic flat bugs feed on fungal mycelia, published evidence points to their use of dead wood‐specific volatile cues rather than fungal‐specific cues for long‐distance orientation towards new habitat patches. To evaluate which olfactory cues saproxylic flat bugs use for short‐distance orientation, we tested the attraction of Aradus obtectus (Vasarhelyi) to fresh wood, fungal mycelia and fungal fruiting bodies using an olfactometer. Aradus obtectus individuals were attracted only to fungal mycelia but not to wood or fungal fruiting bodies. Our results and those of our earlier field experiment testing long‐distance attraction (Seibold et al.,) together suggest that A. obtectus uses cues emitted by dead wood to locate potential resources over long distances, but relies on olfactory cues emitted by mycelia of its host species to locate suitable short‐range microhabitats.