Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 31, Issue 9, pp 2153–2168 | Cite as

Circadian Rhythms of Sexual Behavior and Pheromone Titers of Two Closely Related Moth Species Autographa gamma and Cornutiplusia circumflexa1

  • Michal MazorEmail author
  • Ezra Dunkelblum


Two closely related plusiinae moths, Autographa gamma Linnaeus and Cornutiplusia circumflexa Linnaeus, are sympatric in Israel. Both species use identical sex pheromone components but in different ratios, and do not attempt to mate with each other. In addition to the effective reproductive separation by their sex pheromones, the sexual behavior of both species was compared to determine whether the lack of selection pressure might create additional barriers to cross-attraction and cross-mating. We found the gamma moth to be sexually active almost equally throughout the scotophase, whereas the sexual activity of C. circumflexa was limited to a short period at the end of the scotophase when most of the gamma moths had already mated. Higher levels of calling were observed with older females. There was a close relationship between pheromone titer and calling activity in both species.

Key Words

Autographa gamma gamma moth Cornutiplusia circumflexa Noctuidae Plusiinae calling behavior male response pheromone gland titer circadian rhythm 



We thank Prof. J. N. McNeil for his constructive comments which helped with the data analysis, and the late Prof. K. R. S. Ascher and Prof. R. Galun for useful comments on previous drafts of this manuscript. We also thank Dr. A. Genizi, Dr. R. Marcus, and Mrs. M. Zarchi for help with statistical analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Entomology and Units of Chemistry and Nematology, Institute of Plant Protection, AROThe Volcani CenterBet DaganIsrael

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