Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 610–617 | Cite as

Aggregation Pheromone of the Qinghai Spruce Bark Beetle, Ips nitidus Eggers

  • Qing-He Zhang
  • Jian-Hai Ma
  • Feng-Yu Zhao
  • Li-Wen Song
  • Jiang-Hua Sun


Volatiles from hindgut extracts of males of the Qinghai spruce bark beetle, Ips nitidus, from different attack phases (phase 1: unpaired males and phases 2–4: males joined with one to three females) and hindgut extracts of mated females were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS)/flame ionization detection (FID) with both polar and enantioselective columns. The GC–MS/FID analyses demonstrated that unpaired males from attack phase 1 (nuptial chamber constructed) produced 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol, approx. 74%-(−)-ipsdienol, and (−)-cis-verbenol as major hindgut components, and (−)-trans-verbenol, (−)-ipsenol, (−)-verbenone, myrtenol, and 2-phenylethanol as minor or trace components. The quantities of 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol and especially ipsdienol decreased after mating during phases 2–4, whereas the quantities of (−)-cis- and (−)-trans-verbenol did not change. In contrast, the quantity of (−)-ipsenol seemed to increase as mating activity progressed. After mating with three females (harem size = 3; phase 4), only trace to small amounts of male-specific compounds were detected from I. nitidus male hindguts. Chemical analysis of the hindgut extracts of mated females showed only trace amounts of semiochemicals. A field-trapping bioassay in Qinghai, China showed that the four-component “full blend” containing the three major components, 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol, (±)-ipsdienol, and (−)-cis-verbenol, plus a minor component, (−)-trans-verbenol, caught significantly more I. nitidus (♂/♀ = 1:2.2) than did the unbaited control and two binary blends. The replacement of (±)-ipsdienol with nearly enantiomerically pure (−)-ipsdienol in the “full blend” significantly reduced trap catches, which suggests that both enantiomers are needed for attraction. On the other hand, removal of (−)-trans-verbenol from the active “full blend” had no significant effect on trap catches. Our results suggest that the three major components, 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol, 74%-(−)-ipsdienol, and (−)-cis-verbenol (at 7:2:1), produced by unpaired fed males, are likely the aggregation pheromone components of I. nitidus, thus representing the first characterization of an aggregation pheromone system of a bark beetle native solely to China.


Attractant Coleoptera Enantiomeric composition GC–MS Ips nitidus Ipsdienol 2-Methyl-3-buten-2-ol Picea Scolytidae Semiochemical Trap cis- and trans-Verbenol 



The technical support of Mr. Han Fu-Zhong and his colleagues at the Maixiu Forest Park, Qinghai, China is appreciated. We thank Dr. A. I. Cognato, (Michigan State University) for the help on species ID in the field; Dr. Steven J. Seybold (USDA Forest Service, Davis, CA) for the gift of (+)-ipsdienol; Prof. Dr. Wittko Francke for the gift of amitinol; and Dr. J. A. Byers (USDA-ARS) for reviewing an earlier version of this manuscript. This study was supported by a special grant from Foreign Expert Bureau of Qinghai Province.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qing-He Zhang
    • 1
  • Jian-Hai Ma
    • 2
  • Feng-Yu Zhao
    • 2
  • Li-Wen Song
    • 3
  • Jiang-Hua Sun
    • 4
  1. 1.Sterling International, Inc.SpokaneUSA
  2. 2.Forest Pest Control and Quarantine Station of Qinghai ProvinceXiningPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Institute of Forest ProtectionJilin Provincial Academy of Forestry SciencesChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects & Rodents, Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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