Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 47–57 | Cite as

Specificity of male response to multicomponent pheromones in noctuid mothsTrichoplusia ni andPseudoplusia includens

  • C. E. LinnJr.
  • A. Hammond
  • J. Du
  • W. L. Roelofs


The response of male cabbage looper (CL) and soybean iooper (SBL) moths was observed in the flight tunnel and measured in field tests to the six-component CL pheromone, the five-component SBL pheromone, and toZ7–12: OAc, the major component common to each pheromone. In both the flight tunnel and the field, male CL exhibited significantly greater levels of response to their six-component blend than toZ7–12: OAc alone. A low level of cross-attraction of male CL to the SBL pheromone was observed in both the flight tunnel and the field, but it was quantitatively and qualitatively similar to their response toZ7–12: OAc alone. Thus the minor components of the SBL blend did not appear to disrupt the flight behavior of male CL. With respect to SBL, in the flight tunnel males also exhibited a greater level of response to the five-component blend compared toZ7–12: OAc, but in the field their response was not significantly different to either treatment. There was also a low level of cross-attraction of male SBL to the CL blend, but this appeared to involve a significant arrestment effect on the upwind flight of males, as well as a difference in male sensitivity to the blend of components compared withZ7–12: OAc alone. The observed arrestment effect may have been due to male perception of one or more minor components of the CL pheromone. The results show that the multicomponent pheromones of these species function effectively as specific mating signals and that discrimination of odor quality by male moths can occur as the result of minor components affecting male sensitivity or their upwind flight response to the pheromone.

Key words

Sex pheromone Lepidoptera Noctuidae Pseudoplusia includens Trichoplusia ni multicomponent pheromone blends sustained-flight tunnel behavioral thresholds 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. E. LinnJr.
    • 1
  • A. Hammond
    • 2
  • J. Du
    • 3
  • W. L. Roelofs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyNew York State Agricultural Experiment StationGeneva
  2. 2.Depanment of EntomologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge
  3. 3.Shanghai Institute of EntomologyAcademica SinicaShanghaiP.R.C.

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