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Male-Produced Aggregation Pheromone of the Cerambycid Beetle Rosalia funebris

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We report the identification, synthesis, and field bioassays of a volatile, male-produced aggregation pheromone of a long-horned beetle, the banded alder borer, Rosalia funebris Mots. Headspace collections from males contained a major male-specific compound, (Z)-3-decenyl (E)-2-hexenoate, and several minor components, identified as (Z)-3-decenol, (Z)-3-nonenyl (E)-2-hexenoate, and (Z)-3-decenyl (E)-3-hexenoate. The antennae of both males and females responded strongly to (Z)-3-decenyl (E)-2-hexenoate. We collected significant numbers of adult R. funebris in field bioassays using traps baited with this compound. This pheromone structure is unprecedented in the literature of cerambycid pheromones and distinct from the more common diol/hydroxyketone pheromone motif of many other species of the diverse subfamily Cerambycinae. This is the first pheromone identified for a species in the tribe Rosaliini.

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We thank Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel, Agustin Hernandez, Chris Sapovchak, and Ian Wright for assistance with laboratory and field work and Michael Long and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation for permission to conduct research in Placerita Canyon Natural Area. This project was supported by a Francis M. and Harlie M. Clark Research Support Grant (UIUC, to AMR), the Alphawood Foundation (to LMH), and the National Research Initiative of the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, grant number #2006-35302-17457 (to JGM and LMH). This research was in partial fulfillment of a Ph.D. degree for AMR from UIUC.

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Correspondence to Ann M. Ray or Lawrence M. Hanks.

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Ray, A.M., Millar, J.G., McElfresh, J.S. et al. Male-Produced Aggregation Pheromone of the Cerambycid Beetle Rosalia funebris . J Chem Ecol 35, 96–103 (2009).

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