Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 241–256 | Cite as

Aphrodisiac pheromones of the sulfur butterfliesColias eurytheme andC. Philodice (Lepidoptera, Pieridae)

  • John W. Grula
  • James D. McChesney
  • Orley R. TaylorJr.


Male wing compounds involved in maintaining reproductive isolation between the sulfur butterfliesColias eurytheme andC. philodice have been identified. MaleC. philodice produce threen-hexyl esters; myristate, palmitate, and stearate, which are absent inC. eurytheme. A branched hydrocarbon, 13-methylheptacosane, is found on the wings of maleC. eurytheme, but notC. philodice. Several straight-chain hydrocarbons are on the wings of both species. The esters and 13-methylheptacosane have significant electrophysiological activity. Preliminary behavioral experiments indicate that the esters (especiallyn-hexyl myristate) function as species-recognition signals. The esters and 13-methylheptacosane also have low-to-moderate aphrodisiac activity.

Key words

Colias reproductive isolation aphrodisiac pheromones butterflies species recognition wing scents 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Grula
    • 1
  • James D. McChesney
    • 1
  • Orley R. TaylorJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of KansasLawrence

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