Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 659–668 | Cite as

Male moth sensitivity to multicomponent pheromones: Critical role of female-released blend in determining the functional role of components and active space of the pheromone

  • C. E. LinnJr.
  • M. G. Campbell
  • W. L. Roelofs


In the present study male redbanded leafroller (Argyrotaenia velutinana), cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni), and Oriental fruit moths, (Grapholita molesta), were tested in a flight tunnel to (1) the major pheromone component, (2) theZ/E pheromone component mixtures for Oriental fruit moth and redbanded leafroller, (3) and the female-released blends, over a series of dosages. Experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that male response downwind of a female is initiated by the major component and that minor components function only to elicit behaviors close to the female during close-range approach and courtship. The results did not support this hypothesis, but rather showed that males initiated upwind flight in significantly higher percentages to the complete blends of components, at all dosages, compared to single components or partial blends. Addition of minor components also signficantly enhanced male perception of the major component at lower dosages, resulting in completed flights to dosages of the major component that alone did not elicit any upwind flight. Our results support the concept that minor components function to enhance male sensitivity to the pheromone, and the specificity of the signal. Our results also support the hypothesis that the active space of the pheromone is a function of the upper and lower concentration thresholds for the blend of components, and not simply for the major component.

Key words

Sex pheromone active space Trichopulsia ni Lepidoptera Noctuidae Argyrotaenia velutinana Grapholita molesta Tortricidae multicomponent pheromones sustained-flight tunnel 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. E. LinnJr.
    • 1
  • M. G. Campbell
    • 1
  • W. L. Roelofs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyNYS Agriculture Experiment StationGeneva

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