Prey can detect the presence of predators by predator-released cues and then flexibly alter their phenotypical traits to mitigate the risk, thus non-consumptive effects emerge. Non-consumptive effects have been widely studied in many ecosystems, however, the mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly understood, leaving questions as to the nature of the risk cues and how prey detect the predator. Here, we used a Y-tube olfactometer to examine whether small brown planthoppers, Laodelphax striatellus (Fallén), could detect the presence of rove beetles (Paederus fuscipes Curtis) via odor from rove beetle abdominal gland secretion. We further identified the chemicals of abdominal gland secretion by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Chemicals identified were exposed to a planthopper to test their effects on planthopper behavior. Female or male planthoppers could distinguish the predation risk odors of rove beetle or rove beetle abdominal gland secretion from odor without predation risks. Through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, sixteen of the most abundant chemicals were found in female and male abdominal gland secretion. Five of them (n-undecane, n-pentadecane, n-hexadecane, n-eicosane, and n-heneicosane) individually or collectively reduced the activity level of planthoppers. These findings enhance our understanding of the role of abdominal gland secretion in mediating non-consumptive predator effects, with significant implications for pest management, and the evolution of chemical signals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics