Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 447-455

First online:

Influence of diel rhythm and brain hormone on pheromone production in two lepidopteran species

  • A. RafaeliAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology Faculty of Agriculture, The Hebrew University
  • , V. SorokerAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology Faculty of Agriculture, The Hebrew University

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Heliothis armigera andSpodoptera littoralis females produced sex pheromone during their scotophase. Maximum levels of pheromone in Heliothisarmigera were extracted from 2- to 3-day-old females during their 4.5-hr scotophase. On ligation between the head and the thorax of both species, normal pheromone production was inhibited. Homogenates of brains (consisting of brains, subesophageal ganglia, corpora cardiaca, and corpora allata) from both species induced a normal level of pheromone production by ligated females. Moreover, inS. littoralis, female brain hormone induced the production of the two components (Z)-9- and (Z, E)-9,11-tetradecenyl acetate tested by gas chromatography. Partial separation of brain homogenates, using low pressure C18-silica reversed-phase columns, produced a stable and active hormone source that gave a dose-dependent response. This hormone was found in brain extracts of both male and femaleH. armigera andS. littoralis females. In addition,S. littoralis induced pheromone production byH. armigera ligated females.

Key words

Hormonal control sex pheromone Heliothis armigera Spodoptera littoralis Lepidoptera Noctuidae