Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 169–180 | Cite as

Sex-Specific Trail Pheromone Mediates Complex Mate Finding Behavior in Anoplophora glabripennis

  • Kelli Hoover
  • Melody Keena
  • Maya Nehme
  • Shifa Wang
  • Peter Meng
  • Aijun Zhang


Anoplophora glabripennis (Motsch.) is a polyphagous member of the Cerambycidae, and is considered, worldwide, to be one of the most serious quarantine pests of deciduous trees. We isolated four chemicals from the trail of A. glabripennis virgin and mated females that were not present in trails of mature males. These compounds were identified as 2-methyldocosane and (Z)-9-tricosene (major components), as well as (Z)-9-pentacosene and (Z)-7-pentacosene (minor components); every trail wash sample contained all four chemical components, although the amounts and ratios changed with age of the female. Males responded to the full pheromone blend, regardless of mating status, but virgin females chose the control over the pheromone, suggesting that they may use it as a spacing pheromone to avoid intraspecific competition and maximize resources. Virgin, but not mated, males also chose the major pheromone components in the absence of the minor components, over the control. Taken together, these results indicate that all four chemicals are components of the trail pheromone. The timing of production of the ratios of the pheromone blend components that produced positive responses from males coincided with the timing of sexual maturation of the female.


Sex trail pheromone Invasive species 2-Methyldocosane (Z)-9-Tricosene (Z)-9-Pentacosene (Z)-7-Pentacosene Mate finding Coleaptera Cerambycidae 



We thank J. Nie of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Invasive Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Laboratory for assistance with chemical analysis and syntheses, and G. Bradford and V. Sánchez of the USDA Forest Service for assistance in rearing beetles. Funding was provided by grants to KH from the USDA Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry (10-CA-11420004-316), the Alphawood Foundation, and the Horticultural Research Institute.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelli Hoover
    • 1
  • Melody Keena
    • 2
  • Maya Nehme
    • 1
  • Shifa Wang
    • 3
  • Peter Meng
    • 1
  • Aijun Zhang
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Entomology and Center for Chemical EcologyPenn State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.USDA Forest Service, Northern Research StationHamdenUSA
  3. 3.College of Chemical EngineeringNanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.USDA, ARS Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior LaboratoryBeltsville Agricultural Research Center-WestBeltsvilleUSA

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