Evaluating volatile organic compounds from the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) using headspace odor sampling methods



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The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive species native to China, and it was first discovered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014. It is known to cause great economic damage by destroying various crops, specifically grape vines, and therefore several efforts have been made to control and mitigate its spread from the Northeast. Detection of the invasive spotted lanternfly is key to reduce ecological impacts as well as to reduce expensive eradication costs. Canine detection is a useful detection tool in this pest detection effort, however, an important aspect to further eradication developments via canine means is to understand the odor chemistry of this target substrate. The purpose of this study was to address the gap in research regarding the volatile organic compound (VOC) profile of the SLF and provide more information on the chemical odor signature of SLF as well as other distractor odors, to better inform pest control mitigation strategies utilizing trap technologies and canine detection teams. Instrumental analysis was performed utilizing SPME-GC/MS on SLF eggs, crickets, and bark from its innate environment. The developed SPME-GC/MS method proved to be a valid and reliable approach for VOC analysis of target samples. Differences in shared compound abundance and other detected VOCs within each sample set depicted distinctive odor profiles for each matrix tested. The major conclusion that this study presented is that SLF eggs have a distinctive chemical odor profile comprised of the following compounds: Anisole, Tridecane, Dodecane, 2-Nonanone, 3-Octanone, and D-Limonene, as these were the most frequently seen in the various samples. The SLF egg and cricket samples did not share many compounds, which was in direct opposition to part of the hypothesis that SLF eggs would share compounds with other insects. The selected method proved that detection of odor volatiles even after 6-weeks of frozen storge suggests cold storage safeguards volatile detection, however, the VOC profile of the SLF eggs and crickets did not persist across the 6-week frozen study and did not equate to optimal volatile reproducibility. The VOC profile of the SLF eggs and crickets did not persist consistently across the 6-week dissipation study, and it was determined that the SLF egg vials should be left closed for VOC retention. While the crickets did not depict a statistically significant variation in VOC accumulation as a function of lid type, the detection of extraneous VOCs in the headspace does suggest a need for closed sampling handling for better integrity of the chemical odor profile.



Spotted Lanternfly, Odor profile, Canine detection, Solid phase micro-extraction (SPME), Gas chromatography-Mass spectrometry (GC/MS)