Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 95–108

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. Levinson
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie
  • H. Z. Levinson
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie
  • H. Schwaiger
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie
  • R. F. CassidyJr.
    • Department of ChemistryCollege of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • R. M. Silverstein
    • Department of ChemistryCollege of Environmental Science and Forestry

DOI: 10.1007/BF00988264

Cite this article as:
Levinson, A.R., Levinson, H.Z., Schwaiger, H. et al. J Chem Ecol (1978) 4: 95. doi:10.1007/BF00988264


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

olfactionbehaviorelectroantennogramssex pheromone components(Z)- and (E)-trogodermalfatty acid estersTrogoderma granarium (khapra beetle)DermestidaeColeoptera

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978