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Host plants discriminate between pest species

A study by researchers from three Dutch research institutes has found that egg-deposition by herbivorous insects prompts the emission of a semiochemical cocktail that attracts predatory parasitoids. Using wind tunnels and olfactometers, the researchers studied the interactions between a host plant, black mustard ( Brassica nigra), specialist and generalist butterflies ( Pieris brassicae and Mamestra brassicae, respectively) and two parasitoid wasps, a generalist, Trichogramma brassicae and the more specialist Cotesia glomerata that favours early instar P brassicae larvae.



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