Short communication: Efficacy of a non-pheromone semiochemical for trapping of western flower thrips in the presence of competing plant volatiles in a nectarine orchard

David A. J. Teulon, Melanie M. Davidson, Mette Nielsen, Ruth Butler, Dolores Bosch, Jordi Riudavets, Cristina Castañé


Non-pheromone semiochemicals or allelochemicals (kairomones, synomones, allomones) are often derived from, or are similar to, host plant odours and depending on their use, these semiochemicals may have to compete with the same or similar odours emanating from adjacent host plants with unknown consequences on trapping efficacy. The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of the non-pheromone thrips attractant methyl isonicotinate (MI) as a lure for Western flower thrips (WFT; Frankliniella occidentalis) over a range of Prunus persicae nectarine plant growth stages (flowering, green fruit, ripe fruit), when competition from different host plant odours may vary, and different numbers of thrips can be present, in a Catalan nectarine orchard in 2014 and 2015. Significant 2.4–3.9 × increases in WFT numbers in traps with MI compared with those without MI were consistent over the season (flowering, green fruit, mature fruit) despite overall differences in thrips numbers on these different occasions. These results suggest that MI is an effective lure throughout the nectarine growth stages despite the presumed presence of competing and changing host plant odours. Trap type and colour and MI release rate may be important for improving overall trap efficacy.


Thysanoptera, trapping efficacy, attractant, methyl isonicotinate, competing odours

Full Text:



Baraldi R, Rapparini F, Rossi F, Latella A, Ciccioli P, 1999. Volatile organic compound emissions from flowers of the most occurring and economically important species of fruit trees. Phys Chem Earth B 24 (6): 729-732.

Broughton S, Harrison J, 2012. Evaluation of monitoring methods for thrips and the effect of trap colour and semiochemicals on sticky trap capture of thrips (Thysanoptera) and beneficial insects (Syrphidae, Hemerobiidae) in deciduous fruit trees in Western Australia. Crop Prot 42: 156-163.

Broughton S, Bennington JMA, Cousins DA, Rahman T, 2015. Thrips (Thysanoptera) damage to apples and nectarines in Western Australia. Crop Prot 72: 47-56.

Davidson MM, Perry NB, Larsen L, Green VC, Butler RC, Teulon DAJ, 2008. 4-pyridyl carbonyl compounds as thrips lures: effectiveness for Western Flower Thrips in Y-tube bioassays. J Agric Food Chem 56: 6554-6561.

Davidson MM, Nielsen M-C, Butler RC, Castañe C, Alomar O, Riudavets J, Teulon DAJ, 2015. Can semiochemicals attract both western flower thrips and their anthocorid predators? Entomol Exp Appl 155: 54-63.

De Kogel WJ, Koschier EH, Broughton S, Castañé C, Davidson MM, Hamilton JGC, Kirk WDJ, Nielsen M-C, Riudavets J, Van Tol RWHM, Teulon DAJ, 2016. Semiochemicals for sustainable thrips management. Die Bodenkultur 66 (3-4): 17-25.

Do JY, Salunkne DK, Olson LE, 1969. Isolation, identification and comparison of the volatiles of peach fruit as related to harvest maturity and artificial ripening. J Food Sci 34: 618-621.

El-Sayed AM, Mitchell, VJ, Suckling DM, 2014. 6-Pentyl-2H-pyran-2-one: a potent peach-derived kairomone for New Zealand flower thrips, Thrips obscuratus. J Chem Ecol 40: 50-55.

Felland CM, Teulon DAJ, Hull LA, Polk D, 1995. Distribution and management of thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on nectarine in the mid-Atlantic region. J Econ Entomol 88: 1004-1011.

Gao Y, Leia Z, Reitz SR, 2012. Western flower thrips resistance to insecticides: detection, mechanisms and management strategies. Pest Manag Sci 68 (8): 1111-1121.

González E, Alvarado M, Berlanga E, Serrano A, De la Rosa A, 1994. Daños producidos por trips en nectarinas en el Valle del Guadalquivir. Bol San Veg Plagas 20: 229-241.

Hazir A, Ulusoy MR, 2012. Population fluctuation of thrips species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in nectarine orchards and damage levels in east mediterranean region of Turkey. J Entomol Res Soc 14(1): 41-52.

Horvat RJ, Chapman JRGW, Robertson JA, Meredith FI, Scorza R, Callahan AM, Morgens P, 1990. Comparison of the volatile compounds from several commercial peach cultivars. J Agric Food Chem 38: 234-237.

Jensen SE, 2000. Insecticide resistance in the western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis. Integrated Pest Manag Rev 5: 131-146.

Kirk WDJ, 1985. The effect of some floral scents on host finding by thrips (Insecta: Thysanoptera). J Chem Ecol 11: 35-43.

Kirk WDJ, Terry LI, 2003. The spread of the western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande). Agr Forest Entomol 5: 301-310.

Koschier EH, 2008. Essential oil compounds for thrips control - a review. Nat Prod Commun 3 (7): 1171-1182.

Koschier E, Nielsen M-C, Spangl B, Davidson MM, Teulon DAJ, 2017. The effect of background plant odours on the behavioural responses of Frankliniella occidentalis to attractive or repellent compounds in a Y-tube olfactometer. Entomol Exp Appl 163(2): 160-169.

Lacasa A, Torres J, Martínez MAC, 1993. Frankliniella occidentalis (Perg.) en los cultivos de nectarina de Murcia. Evolución de las poblaciones y comportamiento de variedades. Bol San Veg Plagas 19: 335-344.

La Rue JH, Dibble JE, Obernauf G, 1972. Thrips in nectarines. The Blue Anchor (spring): 21-25.

Lee Y, Nelder JA, Pawitan Y, 2006. Generalized Linear Models with Random Effects: Unified Analysis via H-likelihood. Chapman & Hall/CRC Press, London. Pg 416.

McCullagh P, Nelder JA, 1989. Generalized Linear Models. Chapman & Hall, London, Pp 511+xix.

Payne R, Murray D, Harding S, 2015. The Guide to the Genstat® Command Language (Release 18). VSN International. Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.

Pearsall IA, 2000. Damage to nectarines by the western flower thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. J Econ Entomol 93: 1207-15.

Penman DR, Osborne GO, Worner SP, Chapman RB, McLaren GF, 1982. Ethyl nicotinate: a chemical attractant for Thrips obscuratus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in stonefruit in New Zealand. J Chem Ecol 8: 1299-1303.

Sevenants MR, Jennings WG, 1966. Volatile components of peach II. J Food Sci 31: 81-86.

Spencer MD, Pangborn RM, Jennings WG, 1978. Gas chromatographic and sensory analysis of volatiles from cling peaches. J Agric Food Chem 26 (3): 725-732.

Suckling DM, 2015. Can we replace toxicants, achieve biosecurity, and generate market position with semiochemicals? Front Ecol Evol 3: 17.

Teulon DAJ, 1988. Pest management of the New Zealand flower thrips Thrips obscuratus (Crawford) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on stonefruit in Canterbury, New Zealand. Ph.D. thesis, Lincoln College, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Teulon DAJ, Penman DR, Ramakers PMJ, 1993. Volatile chemicals for thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) host finding and possible applications for thrips pest management. J Econ Entomol 86 (5): 1405-1415.

Teulon DAJ, Davidson MM, Hedderly DI, James DE, Fletcher CD, Larsen L, Green VC, Perry NB, 2007. 4-Pyridyl carbonyl and related compounds as thrips lures: Effectiveness for onion thrips and New Zealand flower thrips in field experiments. J Agric Food Chem 55 (15) 6198-6205.

Teulon DAJ, Castañé C, Nielsen MC, El-Sayed AM, Davidson MM, Gardner-Gee R, Poulton J, Kean AM, Hall C, Butler RC, Sansom CE, Suckling DM, Perry NB, 2014a. Evaluation of new volatile compounds as lures for western flower thrips and onion thrips in New Zealand and Spain. NZ Plant Prot 67: 175-183.

Teulon DAJ, Davidson MM, Butler RC, Nielsen MC, 2014b. Effect of release rate and odour cross-contamination for semiochemical baited traps used in thrips pest management. IOBC/WPRS Bull 102: 205-210.

Teulon DAJ, Davidson MM, Perry NB, Nielsen MC, Castañé C, Bosch D, Riudavets J, van Tol RWHM, de Kogel WJ, 2017. Methyl isonicotinate - a non-pheromone thrips semiochemical - and its potential for pest management. Int J Trop Insect Sci 37 (2): 50-56.

Tommasini MG, Burgio G, 2004. The damage of thrips on nectarine: sampling methods of populations and injury level. IOBC/WPRS Bull 27 (5): 35-47.

Tommasini MG, Ceredi G, 2007. Damages on nectarines by thrips in northern Italy: monitoring and control on late attacks. B Insectol 60 (1): 71-75.

Torá R, Dolset A, García de Otazo J, 2010. Control Integrado en frutales de hueso de la zona productora de Lleida. Phytoma España 219: 48-54.

DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2018163-13060