Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 1115–1129 | Cite as

Temporal patterns of sex pheromone titers and release rates inHolomelina lamae (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae)

  • Coby Schal
  • Ralph E. Charlton
  • Ring T. Cardé


Six hydrocarbon components (2-methylhexadecane,n-heptadecane, 2-methylheptadecane, 2-methyloctadecane,n-nonadecane, and 2-methylnonadecane) were identified in sex-pheromone gland extracts and in airborne collections ofHolomelina lamae. Low variability in the ratio of components among individuals indicates tight regulation of blend composition. Minor changes were evident in the quantity and ratio of the blend as a function of time of day. Based on gland extracts, the total quantity of the six components increased from day 1 (X = 6299 ng) to day 4 (X = 7498 ng) and subsequently decreased. No significant correlations were found between total gland contents and wet or dry weights of moths. Emission rates ofH. lamae females were determined from pheromone adsorbed onto Porapak Q. Quantities released peaked shortly after the onset of calling and decreased rapidly as calling continued. Peak release rates ranged from 13 to 350 ng/10 min, and from 37 to 835 ng/60 min. Noncalling females did not emit detectable quantities of pheromone. Based on release rates and the rate of pulsation of the abdominal tip, the average amount released per pulse is not constant. The mean ratio of components released (0.78∶7.45∶ 84.80∶2.84∶2.59∶1.53) was not very different from the ratio of components in gland extracts of 2-day-old females (0.70∶4.19∶90.12∶ 1.65∶1.91∶1.42). We propose that the blend is atomized rather than volatilized from the gland, thus retaining nearly the same ratios in the female's effluvium as in her gland.

Key words

Sex pheromone pheromone release rates pheromone titer airborne pheromone collection Homomelius lamae Lepidoptera Arctiidae 2-methylheptadecane 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Coby Schal
    • 1
  • Ralph E. Charlton
    • 1
  • Ring T. Cardé
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherst

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