Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 1735-1766

First online:

Electroantennogram responses ofHyles lineata (Sphingidae: Lepidoptera) to volatile compounds fromClarkia breweri (Onagraceae) and other moth-pollinated flowers

  • Robert A. RagusoAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of Michigan
  • , Douglas M. LightAffiliated withUSDA-ARS Western Regional Research Center
  • , Eran PickerskyAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of Michigan

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Electroantennograms (EAGs) from field-collectedHyles lineata moths were recorded in response to 10 individual floral volatiles identified fromClarkia breweri (Onagraceae), to 22 scent compounds produced by other moth-pollinated flowers and to eight ubiquitous “green leaf volatiles.” Females' EAGs were generally 1.5- to 2-fold greater than those observed for male moths. Female:male EAG rank orders were significantly correlated, but marked differences in order were observed for some compounds (e.g., benzyl alcohol, cinnamic aldehyde, geraniol, and linalool). Linalool, benzyl acetate, methyl salicylate, and pyranoid linalool oxide elicited the largest EAG responses (−1.2 to −0.8 mV) among scent compounds fromC. breweri. EAG responses were significantly lower for monoterpenes as a pooled compound class than for aromatic esters, alcohols and aldehydes, fatty acid derivatives, N-bearing compounds and oxygenated terpenoids. EAG responses to structurally related scent compounds were not significantly different in most cases. Both male and femaleH. lineata were sensitive to mostC. breweri scent compounds at 10−2 to 10−4 µg/µl doses, and rank order in potency varied with the dose/concentration tested.H. lineata's olfactory sensitivity to diverse volatile compounds across a range of doses/concentrations suggests that a broad array of volatiles could function as floral attractants for foraging hawkmoths.

Key Words

Aromatics EAG floral attraction floral scent green leaf volatiles hawkmoths monoterpenes nitrogen-bearing compounds olfaction semiochemicals Hyles lineata