Canadian Forest Service Publications

Light-Weight Portable Electroantennography Device as a Future Field-Based Tool for Applied Chemical Ecology. Pawson, S.M., Kerr, J.L., O'Connor, B.C., Lucas, P., Martinez, D., Allison, J.D., Strand, T.M., Journal of Chemical Ecology (2020) 46:557–566

Year: 2020

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40204

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

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Plain Language Summary

Portable electroantennograms (pEAG) can further our understanding of odor plume dynamics and complement laboratory-based electroantennogram tools. pEAG’s can help to address important questions such as the influence of plume structure on insect behavior, the active space of semiochemical-baited traps, and the impact of biotic and abiotic factors on this active space. Challenges associated with pEAGs include their miniaturization and sensitivity, confounding environmental odors, and processing of data. Here, we describe a pEAG built with modern engineering hardware and techniques that is portable in being both light in weight (516 g) and smaller (12 × 12 × 8 cm, volume 1152 cm3) than earlier models. It is able to incorporate insects of a range of sizes (4 to 30 mm antennal length), has wireless communication (communication range of 600 m urban, 10 km line of sight), a stand-alone power supply, and uses both antennae of the test insect. We report normalized antennal responses from Epiphyas postvittana in a dose response experiment where our pEAG compared favorably with traditional laboratory EAG equipment for this species. Dose-response comparisons between E. postvittana, Agrotis ipsilon, and Lymantria dispar dispar showed mean detection limits from a pheromone source dose of 100, 100, and 1 ng, respectively, for our pEAG. This pEAG should allow future real-time analysis of EAG responses in the field in research on how insects interact with odor plumes and the factors that influence the active space of semiochemical-baited traps.