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  • 1 Plant Protection Institute, CAR HAS, H-1525, P.O. Box 102, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 SZIU, Faculty of Horticultural Science, H-1118, Ménesi str. 44., Budapest, Hungary
  • 3 Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, UK
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Several synthetic floral lures have been described for the cetoniin scarabs Cetonia aurata aurata L. and Potosia cuprea Fabr. (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae), exploiting their olfaction-guided behavioural preference for a wide range of flower volatiles.

A ternary mixture of 3-methyl eugenol, 1-phenylethanol and (E)-anethol has previously been described as a powerful synthetic floral attractant for both C. a. aurata and P. cuprea. The first objective of the present research was to test whether isoeugenol and eugenol, with a very similar molecular structure to 3-methyl eugenol, can substitute 3-methyl eugenol in the ternary blend. All baited traps caught significantly more of both species than unbaited control traps, however, traps containing 3-methyl eugenol caught significantly more than those with either isoeugenol or eugenol. This indicates a fine tuning in behavioural response to 3-methyl eugenol.

The second objective was to devise simpler attractant combinations for C. a. aurata and P. cuprea, based on previous field studies with synthetic floral compounds. Both C. a. aurata and P. cuprea showed strong attraction to the combination of 2-phenylethanol and 4-methoxyphenethyl alcohol, while the combination of 2-phenylethanol and 1,2,4-trimethoxybenzene resulted in medium-size catches, however, mostly catching P. cuprea. This level of selectivity may lead to the development of more selective lures for P. cuprea, and provide a better understanding of the feeding-related olfactory ecology of the two important pest chafer species.

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