The responses of two insect predators of spider mites, Scolothrips takahashii (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and Oligota kashmirica benefica (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), to volatile compounds from leaves treated with aqueous jasmonic acid (JA) and/or gaseous methyl salicylate (MeSA) in an olfactometer were examined. Adult females of O. kashmirica benefica exhibited a significant preference for JA+MeSA-treated leaves when compared with uninfested leaves. In contrast, adult females of S. takahashii significantly preferred MeSA- and JA+MeSA-treated leaves to uninfested leaves. Neither predator showed any preference for JA-treated leaves when compared with uninfested leaves. The results argue in favor of manipulating the behavior of natural enemies of herbivores as a method of biological control against herbivorous pests in agroecosystems. This is the first report to suggest that MeSA can be a useful tool for enhancing the effectiveness of carnivorous natural enemies of spider mites.
2002 by the Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology