Chemical Divergences in the Sex Pheromone Communication Systems in Moths

  • Hideshi NakaEmail author
  • Takeshi Fujii
Part of the Entomology Monographs book series (ENTMON)


Moth female sex pheromones have been classified into type I, type II, and miscellaneous, the former two of which are defined by the presence and absence of a terminal functional group, respectively. The classification of moth female sex pheromones is subject to refinement with the increase in our knowledge on the chemical structures of the pheromone molecules and biosynthetic pathways that underlie the formation of chemical structure. Recently, the addition of type 0 and type III to the classification has been proposed. Type-0 pheromones are short-chain secondary alcohols and their corresponding methyl ketones, which have been found from some primitive moths. Type-III pheromones are those containing one or more methyl branches in their carbon chain. In this chapter, we review the chemical structure and classification of moth female sex pheromones, and discuss scenarios for the evolution of different types of sex pheromones.


Moths Female sex pheromones Chemical structure Evolution 



We thank Emeritus Prof. Yukio Ishikawa of the University of Tokyo for providing us the opportunity to write this chapter. We also thank Drs. Mei Yamaguchi and Masayuki Goshima for supplying relevant information. We gratefully acknowledge the work of all collaborators, Drs. Tetsu Ando, Hiroshi Honda, Takeshi Sakurai, Shigehiro Namiki, Rong Yu, Yoichi Seki, and Mr. Takuya Nirazawa.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Applied Entomology, Faculty of AgricultureTottori UniversityTottoriJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Applied Entomology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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