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1-Tridecene—male-produced sex pheromone of the tenebrionid beetle Parastizopus transgariepinus


Males of the genus Parastizopus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) exhibit a special pheromone-emitting behaviour. They do a headstand, expose the aedeagus and remain in this posture for a few seconds. The pheromone emitted by P. transgariepinus was collected by solid-phase micro-extraction (100 μm polydimethylsiloxane fibre) and identified as 1-tridecene by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Presumably, this compound originates from the aedeagal gland, a special feature in Parastizopus, as 1-tridecene is the main compound in the gland reservoirs (23.6 ± 3.8%), accompanied by various less volatile fatty acid esters (25.2 ± 2.0%) and hydrocarbons (51.2 ± 5.7%). 1-Tridecene is also part of the pygidial defensive secretion of both sexes, together with other 1-alkenes, monoterpene hydrocarbons and 1,4-benzoquinones, but as none of these other compounds was detected during calling, the pygidial gland could be ruled out as pheromone source. Extracts of the aedeagal gland reservoirs and the pygidial defensive secretion contained comparable amounts of 1-tridecene, 1.24 ± 0.41 and 1.88 ± 0.54 μg/male, respectively. Chemo-orientation experiments using a servosphere showed that 1 μg of 1-tridecene was attractive to females but not to males.

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We thank O. A. E. Rasa for valuable information about the biology of Parastizopus, the management of the Brandkaros Farm and the Northern Cape Nature Conservation Service for the collection permits and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Bonn, for the financial support (Pe 231/13-1,2).

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Correspondence to Sven Geiselhardt.

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Geiselhardt, S., Ockenfels, P. & Peschke, K. 1-Tridecene—male-produced sex pheromone of the tenebrionid beetle Parastizopus transgariepinus . Naturwissenschaften 95, 247–251 (2008).

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  • 1-Tridecene
  • Parastizopus transgariepinus
  • Sex pheromone
  • Chemo-orientation