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Research article2011Peer reviewedOpen access

Oviposition Response of the Moth Lobesia botrana to Sensory Cues from a Host Plant

Tasin, Marco; Lucchi, Andrea; Ioriatti, Claudio; Mraihi, Mohamed; De Cristofaro, Antonio; Boger, Zvi; Anfora, Gianfranco


The grapevine moth Lobesia botrana is a generalist insect herbivore and grapevine is one of its hosts. Previous studies have shown that insects use their olfactory abilities to locate hosts from a distance; whereas contact chemoreception mediates the stimulation of oviposition after landing. Little is known about the role of olfaction and its interactions with contact chemoreception and vision once the insect lands on the plant. Plant volatile compounds can be sensed by host-searching insects located some distance from the plant and insects sense both volatile and nonvolatile cues after landing on a plant. In the present study, we investigated the effects of these volatile and nonvolatile cues on the oviposition behavior of L. botrana. A behavioral bioassay with choice was developed in which insects were offered each sensory cue either alone or in combination with one or 2 other cues. Females were allowed to choose between a device with the stimulus and a blank device. Results were evaluated in terms of 2 parameters: quantity of eggs laid (egg counts) and preference for the stimulus (ODI: oviposition discrimination index). Our results suggest that olfaction significantly affects egg quantity and that there is significant synergism between olfaction and vision, in terms of their combined effect on egg quantity. In terms of preference (ODI), our results did not show a significant preference for any single cue; the highest ODI was measured for the full-cue stimulus (olfaction, vision, and contact). For ODI, a significant interaction was observed between olfaction and vision and a nearly significant interaction was observed between the olfactory and contact cues. The results are discussed in relation to the effects of plant sensory cues on the oviposition behavior of L. botrana.


contact chemoreception; dual-choice bioassay; grapevine moth; insect behavior; multimodal integration; olfaction; plant volatiles; vision

Published in

Chemical Senses
2011, Volume: 36, number: 7, pages: 633-639

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    Behavioral Sciences Biology

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