Roles of vision and olfaction in host plant selection by Chelinidea vittiger Uhler (Hemiptera: Coreidae)
Sanders, Richard W.
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The means by which Chelinidea vittiqer Uhler (Hemiptera: Coreidae) initiates host plant selection for Opuntia was investigated. Methods of testing vision and olfaction by means of ethological experimentation were developed and utilized. Experimental units were treated with independent and combined visual and olfactory stimuli from unburned host plants. Olfaction was determined to be the significant selection mechanism, and its use with vision was further determined to not be physiologically additive. Host plant selection for fire-damaged cactus pads was found to be significant over that for unburned pads. Influencing biological control by cactus bugs and other insects through use of prescribed burning may be of interest to ranchers and others desiring greater control of prickly pear cactus in range management. Key Terms: biological control, cactus bugs, Chelinidea vittiqer Uhler, host plant selection, olfaction, Opuntia, prescribed burning, prickly pear cactus, range management, vision.