Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 111–118

Sexual communication in the termite Prorhinotermes simplex (Isoptera, Rhinotermitidae) mediated by a pheromone from female tergal glands

  • R. Hanus
  • A. Luxová
  • J. Šobotník
  • B. Kalinová
  • P. Jiroš
  • J. Křeček
  • T. Bourguignon
  • C. Bordereau
Research Article


We studied the post-flight behavior and sex attraction in imagoes of the termite Prorhinotermes simplex (Rhinotermitidae, Prorhinotermitinae). Pairing is mediated by the secretion from tergal glands, exposed by females in a calling posture and highly attractive to males. Analysis of extracts of these glands by means of gas chromatography with electroantennographic detection indicated a chromatographic area corresponding to an intense physiological response of males. The retention characteristics of this area proved to be identical with those of (3Z,6Z,8E)-dodeca-3,6,8-trien-1-ol. Electroantennographic and behavioral assays revealed that units of picograms of the compound represent a stimulus qualitatively and quantitatively equivalent to one female tergal gland. Thus, we hypothesize that (3Z,6Z,8E)-dodeca-3,6,8-trien-1-ol is a major component of the female sex pheromone in P. simplex.


Sex pheromone Prorhinotermes GC-EAD Tergal glands Dodecatrienol 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Hanus
    • 1
  • A. Luxová
    • 1
  • J. Šobotník
    • 1
  • B. Kalinová
    • 1
  • P. Jiroš
    • 1
  • J. Křeček
    • 2
  • T. Bourguignon
    • 3
  • C. Bordereau
    • 4
  1. 1.Infochemicals Research TeamInstitute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, v.v.i.PragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Fort Lauderdale Research and Education CenterUniversity of FloridaFort LauderdaleUSA
  3. 3.Service d’Eco-éthologie EvolutiveUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.CNRS-UMR 5548, Communication chimique et Développement chez les InsectesUniversité de BourgogneDijonFrance

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