Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 271–280 | Cite as

Role of pheromone components in evoking behavioral responses from male potato tuberworm moth,Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)

  • M. Toth
  • T. E. Bellas
  • G. H. L. Rothschild


Responses of the male potato tuberworm moth,Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller), to two sex pheromone components and female crude extract were studied. Both in a wind tunnel and the field, males were better able to locate a source consisting of a 1∶1 mixture of (E,Z)-4,7-tridecadien-1-yl acetate and (E,Z,Z)-4,7,10-tridecatrien-1-yl acetate than a source consisting of the triene alone. The addition of the diene increased the time spent in the vicinity of the pheromone source, time spent on the source itself, and also increased the average number of visits to the source per individual when compared to the triene alone. The triene elicited high levels of locomotor activity and may play a major role in eliciting earlier (long-range) steps in the behavioral sequence of sexually activated moths. The diene appeared to influence later (short-range) behavior. The behavioral responses of males to a 1∶1 mixture of the diene and triene were similar to those elicited by female crude extract.

Key words

Potato tuberworm moth Phthorimaea operculella (E,Z)-4,7-tridecadienyl acetate (E,Z,Z)-4,7,10-tridecatrienyl acetate insect sex pheromone Lepidoptera Gelechiidae 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baker, T.C., andCardé, R.T. 1979. Analysis of pheromone-mediated behaviours in maleGrapholilha molesta, the Oriental fruit moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).Environ. Entomol. 8:956–968.Google Scholar
  2. Baker, T.C., Cardé, R.T., andRoelofs, W.L. 1976. Behavioral responses of maleArgyrotaenia velutinana to components of its sex pheromone.J. Chem. Ecol. 2:333–352.Google Scholar
  3. Bjostad, L.B., Gaston, L.K., Noble, L.L., Moyer, J.H., andShorey, H.H. 1980. Dodecyl acetate, a second pheromone component of the cabbage looper moth,Trichoplusia ni.J. Chem. Ecol. 6:727–734.Google Scholar
  4. Cardé, R.T., andHagaman, T.E. 1979. Behavioural responses of the gypsy moth in a wind tunnel to air-borne enantiomers of disparlure.Environ. Entomol. 8:475–484.Google Scholar
  5. Cardé, R.T., Baker, T.C., andRoelofs, W.L. 1975. Ethological function of components of a sex attractant system for Oriental fruit moth males,Grapholitha molesta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).J. Chem. Ecol. 1:475–491.Google Scholar
  6. Castrovillo, P.J., andCardé, R.T. 1979. Male codling moth (Laspeyresia pomonella) orientation to visual cues in the presence of pheromone and sequences of courtship behavior.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 73:100–105.Google Scholar
  7. Fouda, H.G., Saiber, J.N., andBacon, O.G. 1975. A potent sex attractant for the potato tuberworm moth.J. Econ. Entomol. 68:423–427.Google Scholar
  8. Linn, C.E., andGaston, L.K. 1981. Behavioral responses of maleTrichoplusia ni in a sustained flight tunnel to the two sex pheromone components.Environ. Entomol. 10:379–385.Google Scholar
  9. Ono, T. 1977. The scales as a releaser of the copulation attempt in Lepidoptera.Naturwissenschaften 64:386–387.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Persoons, C.J., Voerman, S., Verwiel, P.E.J., Ritter, F.J., Nooyen, W.J., andMinks, A.K. 1976. Sex pheromone of the potato tuberworm moth,Phthorimaea operculella: isolation, identification and field evaluation.Entomol. Exp. Appl. 20:289–300.Google Scholar
  11. Roelofs, W.L., andCardé, R.T. 1977. Responses of Lepidoptera to synthetic sex pheromone chemicals and their analogues.Annu. Rev. Entomol. 22:377–405.Google Scholar
  12. Roelofs, W.L., Kochansky, J.P., Cardé, R.T., Kennedy, G.G., Henrick, C.A., Labovitz, J.N., andCorbin, V.L. 1975. Sex pheromone of the potato tuberworm moth,Phthorimaea operculella.Life Sci. 17:699–706.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Voerman, S., andRothschild, G.H.L. 1978. Synthesis of the two components of the sex pheromone system of the potato tuberworm moth,Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) and field experience with them.J. Chem. Ecol.4:531–542.Google Scholar
  14. Yamaoka, R., Fukami, H., andIshii, S. 1976. Isolation and identification of the female sex pheromone of the potato tuberworm moth,Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller).Agric. Biol. Chem. 40:1971–1977.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Toth
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. E. Bellas
    • 1
  • G. H. L. Rothschild
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Division of EntomologyCanberra CityAustralia
  2. 2.Research Institute for Plant ProtectionBudapestHungary

Personalised recommendations