Field responses of predaceous arthropods to methyl salicylate: A meta-analysis and case study in cranberries

Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Ian Kaplan, Joseph Braasch, Durairaj Chinnasamy, Livy Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Methyl salicylate (MeSA) is a herbivore-induced plant volatile that has shown potential in attracting natural enemies. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the magnitude of natural enemy response to MeSA in the field, and tested its attractiveness to insect predators in commercial cranberry bogs. Eighteen experiments from 14 publications were used in the meta-analysis, resulting in 91 total observations. Of these, 41 documented significant attraction and the magnitude of this attraction response was not significantly different across predator and parasitoid taxa. Insect predators were monitored in cranberries using MeSA (PredaLure)-baited and unbaited yellow sticky traps. MeSA-baited traps caught greater numbers of adult hoverfly, Toxomerus marginatus, lady beetles, and green lacewings compared with unbaited traps. In another field experiment, predator abundance was monitored using traps placed near the MeSA lure (0 m), as well as at 2.5, 5, and 10 m away from the lure. Adult T. marginatus, the dominant predator species, showed a clear attraction to the point source but not to the other distances. In complementary studies we showed that MeSA emissions from PredaLures dropped quickly soon after deployment in the field but remained relatively high for over 4 weeks; flowering, but not vegetative, vines were a primary source of MeSA in cranberries; and, exposure to PredaLures triggered elevated MeSA emissions from vegetative vines. In conclusion, we find strong evidence that insect predators are broadly attracted to MeSA in agricultural fields, including cranberries; yet, whether this behavior can be manipulated to improve biological control needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-303
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


  • Attractant
  • HIPV
  • Herbivore-induced plant volatile
  • Hoverflies
  • MeSA
  • PredaLure


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