Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 213–220 | Cite as

Pheromone identification by proxy: identification of aggregation-sex pheromones of North American cerambycid beetles as a strategy to identify pheromones of invasive Asian congeners

  • Jocelyn G. MillarEmail author
  • Austin B. Richards
  • Sean Halloran
  • Yunfan Zou
  • Elizabeth A. Boyd
  • Kristin N. Quigley
  • Lawrence M. Hanks
Original Paper


Research over the past decade has shown that attractant pheromones used by cerambycid beetles are often highly conserved, with the same compound being used as a pheromone component by multiple related species, even among species on different continents which have been separated for millions of years. We describe how this conservation of structures can be exploited to identify possible pheromone components for Asian target species with a high risk of invading North America. Thus, collection and analysis of volatiles from five North American species, Semanotus amethystinus (LeConte), Semanotus ligneus (F.), Semanotus litigiosus (Casey), Callidium antennatum hesperum Casey, and Callidium pseudotsugae Fisher, showed that males of the two Callidium species sex-specifically produced 3-hydroxyhexan-2-one, a previously known cerambycid pheromone component, along with a novel natural product, 1-(1H-pyrrol-2-yl)-1,2-propanedione (henceforth pyrrole). In contrast, males of the three Semanotus species produced only the pyrrole. In field bioassays, both sexes of C. antennatum hesperum were significantly attracted to the blend of the two compounds, and S. amethystinus were equally attracted to the pyrrole alone, or the blend of the two compounds. Even before completing field bioassays with these species in California, field testing of the two compounds in Japan and China had revealed that several related target species, including the invasive Callidiellum rufipenne (Motschulsky), Callidiellum villosulum (Fairmaire), and Semanotus bifasciatus (Motschulsky), were attracted to one or both compounds (data reported elsewhere), providing proof of concept of the “pheromone identification by proxy” strategy.


1-(1H-pyrrol-2-yl)-1,2-propanedione 3-Hydroxyhexan-2-one Biosynthetic parsimony Monitoring 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from USDA-APHIS Grants 14-, 15-, 16-, and 17-8130-1422-CA (to JGM and LMH) in support of this work. Tracy Morman provided field assistance to ABR, and Eric Houk and Amy Howard-Houk graciously provided access to their property in Forest Ranch, CA, USA. Nick Kent and Bethany Johnson facilitated access to the Collins Pine Company property in Childs Meadows, Tehama Co., CA, USA.


This study was funded by the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The funding agencies had no role in experimental design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The Waters GCT spectrometer used to obtain high-resolution mass spectra was obtained with NSF grant CHE-0742001, and the Bruker Avance 600 MHz spectrometer used to obtain NMR spectra was obtained with NSF Grant CHE-0320922 and NIH Grant S10RR023677 to UC Riverside.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

The laboratory research was conducted at the University of California, Riverside, and field bioassays were conducted at field sites in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Chico, California, and in the San Bernardino mountains of southern California. All methods met the ethical requirements of the respective universities and followed guidelines of the Committee of Publication Ethics.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not involve any studies with human participants or animals.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA
  2. 2.Aquatic Bioassessment LaboratoryCalifornia State UniversityChicoUSA
  3. 3.College of AgricultureCalifornia State University, ChicoChicoUSA
  4. 4.Department of EntomologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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