Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 400–407 | Cite as

Females of the Bumblebee Parasite, Aphomia sociella, Excite Males Using a Courtship Pheromone

  • Jiří Kindl
  • Pavel Jiroš
  • Blanka Kalinová
  • Petr Žáček
  • Irena ValterováEmail author


Aphomia sociella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae: Galleriinae) is a parasitic moth of bumblebees. Behavioral experiments show that A. sociella females emit semiochemicals that influence male pre-mating behavior and serve as a courtship pheromone. GC/EAD and two-dimensional GC/MS (GCxGC-TOFMS) analyses of extracts of females revealed three antennally active compounds. Comparative GC and GCxGC-TOFMS analyses of extracts and synthetic standards confirmed the identity of the antennally active compounds as hexan-1-ol (1), 6,10,14-trimethylpentadecan-2-one (2), and 6,10,14-trimethylpentadecan-2-ol (3). In laboratory bioassays, alcohol 3 and, at higher doses, ketone 2 initiated male courtship behavior associated with ultrasonic production. Hexan-1-ol (1) and ketone 2 enhanced the activity of alcohol 3. These data suggest that hexan-1-ol, 6,10,14-trimethylpentadecan-2-ol, and 6,10,14-trimethylpentadecan-2-one constitute the female-produced courtship pheromone of A. sociella.


Galleriinae Courtship pheromone Ultrasonic signaling 6,10,14-Trimethylpentadecan-2-ol 6,10,14-Trimethyl-2-pentadecanone Lepidoptera Pyralidae 



The project was supported by research project #Z4-055-905 (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) and by grant #2B06007 (The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic). We thank Jarmila Titzenthalerova for skillful assistance with the GC-EAD experiments and Marketa Foley for language editing.

Supplementary material

10886_2012_100_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (114 kb)
Fig. S1 Mass spectra of TMPD-one (2) and TMPD-ol (3). (PDF 113 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiří Kindl
    • 1
  • Pavel Jiroš
    • 1
  • Blanka Kalinová
    • 1
    • 2
  • Petr Žáček
    • 1
    • 3
  • Irena Valterová
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Organic Chemistry and BiochemistryAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Czech University of Life SciencesPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Analytical ChemistryCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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