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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: An Alarm Pheromone from the Heads of Worker Southern Yellowjackets, Vespula Squamosa (Drury)(hymenoptera: Vespidae)

item Landolt, Peter
item Reed, Hal - BIOL. DEP., ORAL ROBERTS
item Heath, Robert

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: April 26, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Novel approaches and new methods are needed to manage insect pests. Scientists at the USDA, Agricultural Research Service laboratories in Gainesville, Florida are studying pheromones of pest insects to develop attractants for use in pest control. The southern yellowjacket is a serious stinging hazard to people and livestock. It uses pheromones to recruit nestmates to defend the next when disturbed or attacked. It was determined that an additional pheromone is produced in the glands of the head that is attractive and stimulates stinging attacks. This information is useful in developing recommendations for avoidance of stinging attacks and may provide the basis for development of a lure for trapping yellow- jacket wasps.

Technical Abstract: Workers of the southern yellowjacket, Vespula squamosa (Drury), responded to methanolic estracts of conspecific worker heads with attraction and attack, evidenced by significant numbers captured on treated black spheres presented near nest entrances. This species appears to have alarm phero- mones that originate both in the venom and in glands in the head. Behavior rof attacking wasps suggests possible alarm pheromone application by the mandibles.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015
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