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Identification of trail pheromone of larva of eastern tent caterpillarMalacosoma americanum (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae)

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Previous studies have shown that larvae of the eastern tent caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum F.) mark trails, leading from their tent to feeding sites on host trees, with a pheromone secreted from the posterior tip of the abdominal sternum. 5β-Cholestane-3,24-dione (1) has been identified as an active component of the trail. The larvae have a threshold sensitivity to the pheromone of 10−11 g/mm of trail. Several related compounds elicit the trail-following response. Two other species of tent caterpillars also responded positively to the pheromone in preliminary laboratory tests.

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Crump, D., Silverstein, R.M., Williams, H.J. et al. Identification of trail pheromone of larva of eastern tent caterpillarMalacosoma americanum (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae). J Chem Ecol 13, 397–402 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01880088

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Key Words

  • Eastern tent caterpillar
  • Malacosoma americanum
  • Lepidoptera
  • Lasiocampidae
  • larva
  • trail pheromone
  • recruitment
  • 5β-cholestane-3,24-dione