To evaluate the attractiveness of several mushroom-growing substrates to the female mushroom fly Lycoriella ingenua (Dufour) (Diptera: Sciaridae), a pest of the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus (JE Lange) Emil J Imbach (Agaricales), we developed a two-choice, static-flow olfactometer. Behavioral assays using this olfactometer indicated that mushroom compost with A. bisporus mycelia growing in it was not more attractive than compost lacking growing mycelia. We also found that female flies were more attracted to compost lacking A. bisporus mycelia than to the actual commodity, the white button mushroom fruiting bodies. Flies were not, however, attracted to sterilized compost, suggesting the attraction is due to volatiles produced by microbial metabolism in the compost. We also found that female L. ingenua flies were attracted to the mycoparasitic green mold Trichoderma aggressivum Samuels & W Gams (Hypocreales). Flies preferred mushroom compost that had T. aggressivum growing in it over compost lacking T. aggressivum, providing an experimental outcome consistent with the anecdotal belief that L. ingenua flies are vectors of T. aggressivum spores that can infest mushroom-growing houses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science