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Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 11, Issue 9, pp 1181–1196 | Cite as

Individual variation in the pheromone of the turnip moth,Agrotis segetum

  • Christer Löfstedt
  • Boel S. Lanne
  • Jan Löfqvist
  • Monica Appelgren
  • Gunnar Bergström
Article

Abstract

Female turnip moths (Agrotis segetum) from a laboratory culture inbred for more than 30 generations, and the offspring (first and third generation) from field-collected insects were analyzed individually for acetates and alcohols in the pheromone gland. Quantitative analysis of individual components was performed at the subnanogram level by gas chromatographymass spectrometry (selected ion monitoring). The titer of the pheromone, i.e., the sum of the homologous acetates (Z)-5-decenyl acetate, (Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate, and (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate was 2.0 ± 0.3 ng in the laboratory culture and 3.2 ± 0.6 ng in the “wild strain.” There was no correlation between pheromone titer and female weight. The relative proportion of the pheromone components varied substantially between individuals, but there was no statistically significant difference between the two populations. The percentages of the respective compounds (¯X ± coefficient of variation) were 14.8 ± 127% for Z5-10:OAc, 55.6 ± 32% for Z7-12:OAc, and 29.6 ± 59% forZ9-14:OAc. The pheromone composition varied more in the wild strain than in the laboratory culture. The significance of the pheromone variation to the attraction of males was tested in a field experiment. The ratio of males trapped by the most attractive blend versus the least attractive one was 2.2.

Key words

Agrotis segetum turnip moth Lepidoptera Noctuidae sex pheromone (Z)-5-decenyl acetate (Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate individual variation 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christer Löfstedt
    • 1
  • Boel S. Lanne
    • 2
  • Jan Löfqvist
    • 1
  • Monica Appelgren
    • 2
  • Gunnar Bergström
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Animal Ecology, Ecology BuildingLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EcologyGöteborg UniversityGöteborgSweden

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