Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 95-108

First online:

Olfactory behavior and receptor potentials of the khapra beetleTrogoderma granarium (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) induced by the major components of its sex pheromone, certain analogues, and fatty acid esters

  • A. R. LevinsonAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie
  • , H. Z. LevinsonAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie
  • , H. SchwaigerAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie
  • , R. F. CassidyJr.Affiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • , R. M. SilversteinAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, College of Environmental Science and Forestry

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On the basis of the antennal receptor potentials and the extent of attraction and copulation induced in unmated male khapra beetles, (Z)- and (E)-14-methyl-8-hexadecenal were recognized as the most important components of the pheromone system of femaleTrogoderma granarium (Everts), and were named (Z)- and (E)-trogodermal. Air blown over 10−5 to 10−4 μg of (Z)-trogodermal produced receptor potentials equivalent to that elicited by one virgin femaleT.granarium, while ∼10−2 μg of (Z)-trogodermal was required to cause complete attraction and copulation of unmated males. (Z)-Trogodermal was about 10 times more active than (E)-trogodermal. (Z)-8-Hexadecenal was ∼10−2 times less effective than (Z)-trogodermal in causing attraction and 104 time less active in stimulating copulation. (Z)- and (E)-14-methyl-8-hexadecen-1-ol and methyl (Z)- and (E)-14-methyl-8-hexadecenoate displayed a relatively low activity for unmated male khapra beetles. Methyl and ethyl oleate, ethyl linoleate, ethyl palmitate, and ethyl stearate were less effective than (Z)-trogodermal by 6–8 orders of magnitude and are nonspecific attractants. The intensity of response to a particular compound was consistent when assessed by the essential components of mating behavior: receptor potentials, attraction, and copulation.

Key words

olfaction behavior electroantennograms sex pheromone components (Z)- and (E)-trogodermal fatty acid esters Trogoderma granarium (khapra beetle) Dermestidae Coleoptera