Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 152, Issue 3, pp 309–317 | Cite as

Production, release and effectiveness of two female sex pheromone components ofPeriplaneta americana

  • Hinrich Sass


The attractant substances periplanone-A and B were isolated from extracts obtained from virgin female cockroaches by liquid chromatography. The effectiveness of these two pheromone components was tested by means of the male electroantennogram (EAG).

The gut of the female cockroach, which is considered to be the site of attractant production, contains both of these components. They are equally effective in eliciting the EAG; the effectiveness of extracts made on the first day after the imaginal molt corresponds to that of 0.1 ng (±)-periplanone-B in each case. During the first 20 days of imaginai life the effectiveness of both components rises by a factor of 100.

The components released into the air were adsorbed on Tenax for testing. The amount of each pheromone component collected per female per day, between the 10th and the 25th day of imaginal life, is as effective as ca. 0.6 ng (±)-periplanone-B.

Electrophysiological methods were used to study the response evoked in single receptor cells of the males by the attractant. Two specialized receptor types, one of which responds to periplanone-A and the other to periplanone-B are found in the same sensillum. Examination of these sensilla in the scanning electron microscope after electrophysiological recording showed that they were always sensilla of the type swB.

The total number of attractant receptors calculated on the basis of this finding is between 30,000 and 40,000 of each cell type per antenna.

These results suggest the presence of a two-component attractant system in the American cockroach.


Electrophysiological Recording Pheromone Component Single Receptor Electrophysiological Method American Cockroach 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hinrich Sass
    • 1
  1. 1.Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät III der UniversitätRegensburgGermany

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