The antennae of Sitophilus granarius (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) adults detect a wide variety of compounds in the odor blend of various cereal grains (Germinara et al., Tec. Molit., 53:27–34, 2002). In the present study, we looked at the behavioral responses of the granary weevil to 20 of these individual volatiles (aliphatic alcohols, aldehydes,ketones, and aromatics) in a two-choice pitfall olfactometer, using the aggregation pheromone and propionic acid as the attractant and repellent controls, respectively. Five doses, ranging from 1 μg to 1 mg, of each compound were tested. At least one concentration of eight compounds attracted beetles but required doses 1,000- to 5,000-fold higher than the concentration of aggregation pheromone to elicit a response. Three compounds, while attractive at lower concentrations, acted as repellents at higher doses. Twelve compounds were repellent at concentrations similar to the quantity of propionic acid that significantly repelled beetles. The data show that granary weevil adults have the ability to respond behaviorally to a wide range of cereal volatiles and that responses may change as a function of concentration. The results suggest that host finding behavior of weevils will depend on the balance of positive and negative volatile stimuli from grain as the relative concentrations of volatiles may change during storage. An understanding of how the weevils respond to such changes could be useful for the development of effective integrated pest management strategies.
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