, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 77–80 | Cite as

A female-specific attractant for the codling moth, Cydia pomonella, from apple fruit volatiles

  • Alan Hern
  • Silvia Dorn
Short Communication


Host plant-derived esters were investigated as potential female-specific attractants for the codling moth (CM), Cydia pomonella (L.), a key pest of apples worldwide. The behavioural effects of single and combined volatile compounds and of a natural odour blend were examined using olfactometry and wind-tunnel bioassays. The apple-derived volatile butyl hexanoate attracted mated females while it was behaviourally ineffective for males over a dosage range of more than three orders of magnitude in olfactometer assays. Female CM preferred this kairomone to the headspace volatiles from ripe apples. Both no-choice and choice trials in the wind-tunnel suggested that female moths might be effectively trapped by means of this compound. In contrast, headspace volatiles collected from ripe apple fruits as well as a blend containing the six dominant esters from ripe apples were behaviourally ineffective. A female-specific repellency was found for the component hexyl acetate in the olfactometer, but this ester had no significant effect in the wind-tunnel. Butyl hexanoate with its sex-specific attraction should be further evaluated for monitoring and controlling CM females in orchards.


Odour Source Headspace Volatile Hexyl Acetate Codling Moth Cydia Pomonella 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Dr. R. Kaiser (Givaudan-Roure, Duebendorf, Switzerland), who provided many of the standards for the GC-MS analysis, and Drs. K. Tschudi-Rein and J. Samietz for useful comments. A patent application by S. Dorn and A. Hern has been filed for this discovery.


  1. Abivardi C, Weber DC, Dorn S (1998) Effects of azinphos-methyl and pyrifenox on reproductive performance of Cydia pomonella L. (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) at recommended rates and lower concentrations. Ann Appl Biol 132:19–33Google Scholar
  2. Averill AL, Reissig WH, Roelofs WL (1988) Specificity of olfactory responses in the tephritid fruit fly, Rhagoletis pomonella. Entomol Exp Appl 47:211–222Google Scholar
  3. Bengtsson M, Bäckman AC, Liblikas I, Ramirez MI, Borg-Karlson AK, Ansebo L, Anderson P, Löfqvist J, Witzgall P (2001) Plant odor analysis of apple: antennal responses of codling moth females to apple volatiles during phenological development. J Agric Food Chem 49:3736–3741CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Cardé RT, Minks AK (1995) Control of moth pests by mating disruptions: successes and constraints. Annu Rev Entomol 40:559–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crawley M (1993) GLIM for ecologists. Blackwell Science, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Dorn S, Schumacher P, Abivardi C, Meyhöfer R (1999) Global and regional pest insects and their antagonists in orchards: spatial dynamics. Agric Ecosyst Environ 73:111–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fein BL, Reissig WH, Roelofs WL (1982) Identification of apple volatiles attractive to the apple maggot, Rhagoletis pomonella. J Chem Ecol 8:1473–1487Google Scholar
  8. Hern A, Dorn S (1999) Sexual dimorphism in Cydia pomonella in response to α-farnesene. Entomol Exp Appl 92:63–72Google Scholar
  9. Hern A, Dorn S (2001) Statistical modelling of insect behavioural responses in relation to the chemical composition of test extracts. Physiol Entomol 26:381–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hern A, Dorn S (2002) Induction of volatile emissions from ripening apple fruits infested with Cydia pomonella and the attraction of adult females. Entomol Exp Appl 102:145–151Google Scholar
  11. Hern A, Dorn S (2003) Monitoring seasonal variation in apple fruit volatile emissions in situ using solid-phase microextraction. Phytochem Anal 14:232–240CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Hughes WO, Gailey D, Knapp JJ (2003) Host location by adult and larval codling moth and the potential for its disruption by the application of kairomones. Entomol Exp Appl 106:147–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Light DM, Knight AL, Henrick CA, Rajapaska D, Lingren W, Dickens JC, Reynolds KM, Buttery RG, Merrill G, Roitman J, Campbell BC (2001) A pear-derived kairomone with pheromonal potency that attracts male and female codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.). Naturwissenschaften 88:333–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Wearing CH, Connor PJ, Ambler KD (1973) Olfactory stimulation of oviposition and flight activity of the codling moth Laspeyresia pomonella, using apples in an automated olfactometer. N Z J Sci 16:697–710Google Scholar
  15. Witzgall P, Bengtsson M, El-Sayed A, Bäckman AC, Rauscher S, Borg-Karlson AK, Unelius CR, Löfqvist J (1999) Chemical communication in codling moth: towards environmentally safe control methods. IOBC WPRS Bull 22:57–65Google Scholar
  16. Yan F, Bengtsson M, Witzgall P (1999) Behavioural response of female codling moths, Cydia pomonella, to apple volatiles. J Chem Ecol 25:1343–1351Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Plant Sciences, Applied EntomologySwiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)ZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Scottish Environmental Protection AgencyPerthUK

Personalised recommendations