Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 153–164 | Cite as

Electrophysiological and Behavioral Responses of Female Beet Armyworm Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) to the Conspecific Female Sex Pheromone

  • Ming-Wei Yang
  • Shuang-Lin Dong
  • Lu Chen


Electroantennogram (EAG) recordings showed that female Spodoptera exigua can detect their own sex pheromones (two single components and their mixture), displaying a similar dose–response pattern to that of males, although intensities of female responses were much less at all doses compared with males. Furthermore, the female calling behavior was inhibited and late-shifted by the presence of the female sex pheromone. When the pheromone components were presented, the calling female proportion in the peak calling period was significantly reduced and the calling peak time and calling termination time postponed, compared with controls. Although the calling behavior was inhibited, the pheromone titer of treated females was not different to the control, implying a reduced pheromone biosynthesis in the pheromone glands of treated moths. However, observations during the olfactometer experiments revealed that there were no obvious behavioral responses of females exposed to sex pheromone stimuli including whole gland extracts, 0.1, 1 or 10 μg binary pheromone mixtures.


Female response female sex pheromone beet armyworm calling behavior electroantennogram 



Authors thank Professor Gregg Henderson (Louisiana State University, USA) for comments on and language polishing with this manuscript; and Professor Jia-Wei Du (Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, CAAS, China) for providing the sex pheromone chemicals. The research is supported by funds from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number: 30571220) and Jiangsu Province Natural Science Foundation (grant number: BK2004098).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Monitoring and Management of Plant Diseases and Insects, Ministry of AgricultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina

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