Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1087–1102

Behavioral responses ofSpodoptera littoralis males to sex pheromone components and virgin females in wind tunnel


  • Carmen Quero
    • Department of Biological Organic ChemistryC.I.D. (CSIC)
  • Philippe Lucas
    • INRA, Unité de Phytopharmacie et des Médiateurs Chimiques
  • Michel Renou
    • INRA, Unité de Phytopharmacie et des Médiateurs Chimiques
  • Angel Guerrero
    • Department of Biological Organic ChemistryC.I.D. (CSIC)

DOI: 10.1007/BF02027947

Cite this article as:
Quero, C., Lucas, P., Renou, M. et al. J Chem Ecol (1996) 22: 1087. doi:10.1007/BF02027947


The major component of the sex pheromone of femaleSpodoptera littoralis, (Z,E)-9,11-tetradecadienyl acetate (1), elicited all steps of the male behavioral sequence, i.e., wing fanning and taking flight, oriented upwind flight and arrival to the middle of the tunnel, close approach and contact with the source. The activity was equivalent to that elicited by virgin females. In the range of doses tested, the dosage of1 had no significant effect on the number of source contacts. Male response was significantly affected by light intensity, being optimum at 3 lux. Activity of the minor components (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate (2), (E)-11-tetradecenyl acetate (3), tetradecyl acetate (4), (Z)-11-tetradecenyl acetate (5), and (Z,E)-9,12-tetradecadienyl acetate (6) was significantly lower than that of the major component when assayed individually. In multicomponent blends compound4 appeared to strongly decrease the number of males arrested at the source, the effect being particularly important when compound5 was present in the blend. Results of single sensillum experiments confirmed the existence of two main physiologically distinct sensillar types. The most common type of sensilla contained a neuron that responded specifically to compound1. A second type of sensilla, located laterally on the ventral sensory surface, contained two receptor neurons responding to compound6 and to (Z)-9-tetradecenol. Among short sensilla, one hair responded to compound4 and could represent a minor sensillar type. No sensory neuron was found to detect the other minor pheromone compounds2, 3, and5.

Key Words

Wind tunnelbehaviorsingle sensillum recordingSpodoptera littoralisLepidopteraNoctuidaeEgyptian armyworm

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996