Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 30–39 | Cite as

Pheromone Composition and Chemical Ecology of Six Species of Cerambycid Beetles in the Subfamily Lamiinae

  • Linnea R. Meier
  • Yunfan Zou
  • Judith A. Mongold-Diers
  • Jocelyn G. Millar
  • Lawrence M. HanksEmail author


Cerambycid beetles of the subfamily Lamiinae use male-produced aggregation-sex pheromones that are attractive to both sexes. Terpenoid pheromones have been identified from species in the tribes Acanthoderini and Acanthocinini native to North and South America, comprised of (E)-6,10-dimethyl-5,9-undecadien-2-one (geranylacetone), the structurally related 6-methylhept-5-en-2-one (sulcatone), and/or specific enantiomers or nonracemic ratios of enantiomers of the related compounds (E)-6,10-dimethyl-5,9-undecadien-2-ol (fuscumol), its acetate ester, (E)-6,10-dimethyl-5,9-undecadien-2-yl acetate (fuscumol acetate), and 6-methylhept-5-en-2-ol (sulcatol). Here, we present new information about the chemical ecology of six acanthoderine and acanthocinine species native to the eastern USA. The pheromone of Astyleiopus variegatus (Haldeman) previously was identified as a blend of (S)-fuscumol and (S)-fuscumol acetate, and we report here that geranylacetone is a synergistic component. Males of Aegomorphus modestus (Gyllenhal), Lepturges angulatus (LeConte), and Lepturges confluens (Haldeman) were found to produce similar blends composed of the enantiomers of fuscumol acetate and geranylacetone, whereas males of Astylidius parvus (LeConte) and Sternidius alpha (Say) produced both enantiomers of fuscumol together with (R)-fuscumol acetate and geranylacetone. Field experiments with synthesized chemicals revealed that species with similar pheromone composition nevertheless differed in their responses to individual components, and to various blends of components, and in how attraction was influenced by chemicals that were pheromone components of other species. Sulcatone and/or sulcatol antagonized attraction of some species to pheromones of the geranylacetone class, suggesting that there is an adaptive advantage in an ability to detect these heterospecific compounds, such as in avoiding cross attraction to other cerambycid species, as yet unknown, that use pheromones composed of both chemical classes.


Longhorned beetle Attractant pheromone Terpenoids Antagonism Geranylacetone Sulcatone 



We thank Jodie A. Ellis for assistance with laboratory work. We also thank S. Buck and the University of Illinois Committee on Natural Areas for access to field sites. This research was supported by a grant to L.M.H. from The Alphawood Foundation of Chicago, and grants to J.G.M. and L.M.H. from the United Stated Department of Food and Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA, grant numbers 2012-67013-19303 and 2015-67013-23173), and USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service grant #15-8130-1422-CA.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  3. 3.Department of EntomologyUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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