Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 2169–2182 | Cite as

Geometrical and optical isomerism of pheromones in two sympatricDryocoetes species (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), mediates species specificity and response level

  • Alejandro D. Camacho
  • Harold D. PierceJr.
  • John H. Borden


In a field-trapping experiment, western balsam bark beetles,Dryocoetes confusus Swaine, were highly attracted to a 5∶1 mixture of (±)-exo-and (±)-endo-brevicomin. Beetles in the sympatric speciesD. affaber (Mann.), were best attracted to a 1∶1 blend of these semiochemicals [either (±)∶(±) or (±)∶(±)], suggesting that both geometrical isomers are pheromone components in these species. In laboratory bioassays and further field experiments, attraction ofD. confusus was greatest when the (+) enantiomers of both geometrical isomers of brevicomin were presented in a 9∶1 ratio. Responses by maleD. confusus to attractive mixtures were reduced in the presence of (−)-exo-brevicomin. Exploitation of the complete range of variability in pheromone structure (both geometrical and optical isomerism) would allow for optimization and regulation of response levels within a species and also could maintain reproductive isolation among sympatric congeneric species primarily through production and response to species-specific blends.

Key Words

Semiochemicals pheromones Dryocoetes confusus Dryocoetes affaber Coleoptera Scolytidae enantiomers diastereoisomers exo-brevicomin endo-brevicomin 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alejandro D. Camacho
    • 1
  • Harold D. PierceJr.
    • 2
  • John H. Borden
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesCentre for Pest ManagementCanada
  2. 2.Department of ChemistrySimon Fraser universityBurnabyCanada

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