, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 29–36 | Cite as

Female sex pheromones in the host races and hybrids of the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

Research Paper


The three major pheromone components found in gland extracts of both rice and corn strain Spodoptera frugiperda virgin females were Z9-14:Ac, Z11-16:Ac and Z7-12:Ac, However, both the concentrations and relative proportions of the compounds varied significantly between strains as a function of female age and the time during the scotophase that the glands were extracted. The concentration of Z9-14:Ac found in the glands of hybrid females, coming from corn × rice and rice × corn crosses differed significantly, but in both cases did not differ significantly from that of maternal line females. The results suggest that synthesis is controlled, at least in part, by the W chromosome. Given the intraspecific variability reported in other species of Lepidoptera, both with respect to female pheromone production and male responsiveness, it would appear rather unlikely that these differences alone would be sufficient to ensure reproductive isolation of the two strains.


Fall armyworm Host races Pheromone titers Hybrids Reproductive isolation 



We would like to thank J. Gobeil, A. Labrecque and N. Lima for their assistance in the insect rearing and observations of calling females. This research was funded by a NSERC discover grant to JNM and EL was supported by a scholarship from CNPq.


  1. Baker TC, Meyer WR, Roelofs WL (1981) Sex pheromone dosage and blend specificity of response in Oriential fruit moths. Entomol Exp Appl 30:269–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barrer PM, Lacey MJ, Shani A (1987) Variation in relative quantities of airborne sex pheromone components from individual female Ephestia cautella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). J Chem Ecol 13:639–653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birch MC, Poppy GM, Baker TC (1990) Scents and eversible scent structures of male moths. Annu Rev Entomol 35:25–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bjostad LB, Gaston LK, Shorey HH (1980) Temporal pattern of sex pheromone release by female Trichoplusia ni. J Insect Physiol 26:493–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cardé RT, Baker TC (1984) Sexual communication with pheromones. In: Bell WJ, Cardé RT (eds) Chemical ecology of insects. Chapman & Hall, New York, pp 355–383Google Scholar
  6. Charlton RE, Cardé RT (1982) Rate and diel periodicity of pheromone emission from female gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) determined with a glass-adsorption collection system. J Insect Physiol 28:423–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Delisle J (1992) Monitoring the seasonal male flight activity of Choristoneura rosaceana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in eastern Canada using virgin females and several different pheromone blends. Environ Entomol 21:1007–1012Google Scholar
  8. Descoins C, Silvain JF, Lalanne-Cassou B, Chéron H (1988) Surveillence des insectes ravageurs des cultures par piégeage sexuel des males dans les départements de la Guadeloup et de la Guyane. Agric Ecosyst Environ 21:53–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dunkelblum E, Snir R, Gothilf S, Harpaz I (1987) Identification of sex pheromone components from pheromone gland volatiles of the tomato looper, Plusia chalcites (Esp.). J Chem Ecol 13:991–1003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fitzpatrick SM, McNeil JN (1988) Male scent in lepidopteran communication: the role of male pheromone in mating behaviour of Pseudaletia unipuncta (Haw.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Mem Ent Soc Can 146:131–151Google Scholar
  11. Flint HM, Smith RL, Forey DE, Horn BR (1977) Pink bollworm: response of males to (Z, Z-) and (Z, E-) isomers of gossyplure. Environ Entomol 6:274–275Google Scholar
  12. Groot AT, Horovitz JL, Hamilton J, Santangelo RG, Schal C, Gould F (2006) Experimental evidence for interspecific directional selection on moth pheromone communication. Proc Natl Acad Sci 103:5858–5863PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grula JW, Taylor OR Jr (1979) The inheritance of pheromone production in the sulphur butterflies Colias eurytheme and C. philodice. Heredity 42:359–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Heath RR, McLaughlin JR, Proshold F, Teal PEA (1991) Periodicity of female sex pheromone titer and release in Heliothis subflexa and H. virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Ann Entomol Soc Am 84:182–189Google Scholar
  15. Hunt RE, Haynes KF (1990) Periodicity in the quantity and blend ratios of pheromone components in glands and volatile emissions of mutant and normal cabbage looper moths, Trichoplusia ni. J Insect Physiol 36:769–774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hunt RE, Zhao B, Haynes KF (1990) Genetic aspects of interpopulational differences in pheromone blend of cabbage looper moth, Trichoplusia ni. J Chem Ecol 16:2935–2946CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Klun JA, Maini S (1979) Genetic basis of an insect chemical communication system: the European corn borer. Environ Entomol 8:423–426Google Scholar
  18. Landolt PJ, Heath RR, Millar JG, Davis-Hernandez KM, Dueben BD, Ward KE (1994) Effects of host plant, Gossypium hirsutum L., on the sexual attraction of the cabbage looper moths, Trichoplusia ni (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). J Chem Ecol 20:2959–2974CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Linn CE, Roelofs WL (1983) Effect of varying proportions of the alcohol component on sex pheromone blend discrimination in male Oriental fruit moths. Physiol Entomol 8:291–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Linn CE, Campbell MG, Roelofs WL (1988) Temperature modulation of temperature thresholds controlling male moth sex pheromone response specificity. Physiol Entomol 13:59–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Löfstedt C, Lanne BJ, Löfqvist J, Appelgren M, Bergström G (1985) Individual variation in the pheromone of the turnip moth, Agrotis segetum. J Chem Ecol 11:1181–1196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Löfstedt C, Löfqvist J, Lanne BS, Van Der Pers JNC, Hansson BS (1986) Pheromone dialects in European turnip moths Agrotis segetum. Oikos 46:250–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Löfstedt C, Hansson BS, Tóth M, Szöcs G, Buda V, Bengtsson M, Ryrholm N, Svensson M, Priesner E (1994) Pheromone differences between sibling taxa Diachrysia chrysitis (Linnaeus, 1758) and D. tutti (Kostrowicki, 1961) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). J Chem Ecol 20:91–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mayr E (1963) Animal species and evolution. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  25. McLellan KAM, Nordin GL, Haynes KF (1991) Chemical communication and reproductive isolation in two types of the fall webworm (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Ann Entomol Soc Am 84:118–123Google Scholar
  26. McNeil JN (1991) Behavioral ecology of pheromone-mediated communication in moths and its importance in the use of pheromone traps. Annu Rev Entomol 36:407–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. McNeil JN, Delisle J (1989) Are host plants important in pheromone-mediated mating systems of Lepidoptera? Experientia 45:236–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mistrop Pope M, Gaston LK, Baker TC (1984) Composition, and periodicity of sex pheromone volatiles from individual Heliothis zea females. J Insect Physiol 30:943–945CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mitchell ER, Tumlinson JH, McNeil JN (1985) Field evaluation of commercial pheromone formulations and traps using a more effective sex pheromone blend for the fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). J Econ Entomol 78:1364–1369Google Scholar
  30. Mitchell ER, McNeil JN, Westbrook JK, Silvain JF, Lalanne-Cassou B, Chalfant RB, Pair SD, Waddill VH, Sotomayor-Rios A, Proshold FI (1991) Seasonal periodicity of the fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in the Caribbean basin and northward to Canada. J Entomol Sci 26:39–50Google Scholar
  31. Ono T, Charlton RE, Cardé RT (1990) Variability in pheromone composition and periodicity of pheromone titer in potato tuberworm moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). J Chem Ecol 16:531–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pashley DP (1986) Host-associated genetic differentiation in fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): a sibling species complex? Ann Entomol Soc Am 79:898–904Google Scholar
  33. Pashley DP (1988) Current status of fall armyworm host strains. Fla Entomol 71:227–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pashley DP, Martin JA (1987) Reproductive incompatibility between host strains of the fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Ann Entomol Soc Am 80:731–733Google Scholar
  35. Pashley DP, Hammond AM, Hardy TN (1992) Reproductive isolating mechanisms in fall armyworm host strains (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Ann Entomol Soc Am 85:400–405Google Scholar
  36. Paterson HEH (1985) The recognition concept of species. In: Vrba ES (ed) Species and speciation. Transvaal Muscum Monograph No 4, Pretoria Google Scholar
  37. Pittendrigh BR, Pivnick KA (1993) Effects of a host plant, Brassica juncea, on calling behaviour and egg maturation in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. Entomol Exp Appl 68:117–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Raina AK, Kingan TG, Mattoo AK (1992) Chemical signals from host plant and sexual behavior in a moth. Science 255:592–594PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ramaswamy SB, Ma PWK, Pitre HN (1988) Calling rhythm and pheromone titers in Spodoptera frugiperda (JE Smith) (Lep, Noctuidae) from Mississippi and Honduras. J Appl Entomol 106:90–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Roelofs WL (1978) Threshold hypothesis for pheromone perception. J Chem Ecol 4:685–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Roelofs WL, Glover T, Tang X, Sreng I, Robins P, Eckenrode C, Löfstedt C, Hansson BS, Bengtsson BO (1987) Sex pheromone production and perception in European corn borer moths is determined by both autosomal and sex-linked genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci 84:7585–7589PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rose AH, Silversides RH, Lindquist OH (1975) Migration flight by an aphid, Rhopalosiphum maidis (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and a noctuid, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Can Entomol 107:567–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. SAS Institute (1990) SAS user’s guide: basics. SAS Institute, CaryGoogle Scholar
  44. Shorey HH, Hale RL (1965) Mass rearing of the larvae of nine noctuid species on a simple artificial medium. J Econ Entomol 58:522–524Google Scholar
  45. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1981) Biometry, 2nd edn. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  46. Sparks AN, Jackson RD, Carpenter JE, Muller RA (1986) Insects captured in light traps in the Gulf of Mexico. Ann Entomol Soc Am 79:132–139Google Scholar
  47. Templeton AR (1989) The meaning of species and speciation: a genetic perspective. In: Otte D, Endler JA (eds) Speciation and its consequences. Sinauer Press, Sunderland, pp 3–27Google Scholar
  48. Tumlinson JH, Mitchell ER, Teal PEA, Heath RR, Mengelkoch LJ (1986) Sex pheromone of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J E Smith) Identification of components critical to attraction in the field. J Chem Ecol 12:1909–1925CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tumlinson JH, Mitchell ER, Yu HS (1990) Analysis and field evaluation of volatile blend emitted by calling virgin females of beet armyworm moth, Spodoptera exigua (Hubner). J Chem Ecol 16:3411–3423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Whitford F, Quisenberry SS, Riley TJ, Lee JW (1988) Mating compatibility, ovipositional preference, and larval development of two electrophoretically differentiated fall armyworm colonies. Fla Entomol 71:234–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia Animal, EntomologiaUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.The Department of BiologyThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations