Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 1749–1759 | Cite as

Photoisomerization of antiaggregation pheromone verbenone: Biological and practical implications with respect to the mountain pine beetle,Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins (Coleoptera: Scolytidae)

  • B. C. Kostyk
  • J. H. Borden
  • G. Gries


Release of the antiaggregation pheromone, verbenone, at 3.8 mg/ day from a concentrated source within a multiple-funnel trap completely inhibited response by the mountain pine beetle (MPB),Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, to attractive semiochemical lures. When aerial applications were simulated and verbenone was released at the same rate from beads lying in a 2×2-m area on the forest floor 15–35 cm below a trap, the response of the MPB was inhibited by only 50%. This reduced inhibition may be explained in part by the photoisomerism of verbenone. When exposed to full sunlight on two occasions, the times required for 50% of verbenone vapors to be converted to chrysanthenone were 75 and 100 min, respectively. Trap and tree-baiting experiments indicated no biological activity of chrysanthenone. Rapid photoisomerization could reduce the concentration of verbenone below biologically active levels and would allow the MPB to colonize trees close to already occupied hosts, contributing to the characteristic clumped distribution of MPB attack. The rate of verbenone photoisomerization may vary according to geographic location, stand elevation and density, and should be considered before verbenone is applied to control the MPB and other bark beetles.

Key Words

Mountain pine beetle Dendroctonus ponderosae Coleoptera Scolytidae antiaggregation pheromone verbenone chrysanthenone photoisomerism 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. C. Kostyk
    • 1
  • J. H. Borden
    • 1
  • G. Gries
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Pest Management, Department of Biological SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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