Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 397–402 | Cite as

Identification of trail pheromone of larva of eastern tent caterpillarMalacosoma americanum (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae)

  • Douglas Crump
  • Robert M. Silverstein
  • Howard J. Williams
  • Terrence D. Fitzgerald


Previous studies have shown that larvae of the eastern tent caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum F.) mark trails, leading from their tent to feeding sites on host trees, with a pheromone secreted from the posterior tip of the abdominal sternum. 5β-Cholestane-3,24-dione (1) has been identified as an active component of the trail. The larvae have a threshold sensitivity to the pheromone of 10−11 g/mm of trail. Several related compounds elicit the trail-following response. Two other species of tent caterpillars also responded positively to the pheromone in preliminary laboratory tests.

Key Words

Eastern tent caterpillar Malacosoma americanum Lepidoptera Lasiocampidae larva trail pheromone recruitment 5β-cholestane-3,24-dione 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas Crump
    • 1
  • Robert M. Silverstein
    • 2
  • Howard J. Williams
    • 3
  • Terrence D. Fitzgerald
    • 4
  1. 1.Chemistry DivisionDSIRPetoneNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of ChemistrySUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestrySyracuse
  3. 3.Department of EntomologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege Station
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesSUNY College at CortlandCortland

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