Experimental Evidence for Three Pheromone Races of the Scarab Beetle Phyllophaga anxia (LeConte)
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This study offers experimental evidence for the existence of three pheromone races of the northern genitalic form of Phyllophaga anxia: one race in which females produce and males respond mainly to l-valine methyl ester, a second producing and responding to l-isoleucine methyl ester, and a third producing and responding to an intermediate range of blends of the two compounds. At Franklinville, NY, pheromone gland contents of females were analyzed using coupled gas chromatography–electroantennogram detection. Two types of females were found, one that produced greater than 99% l-valine methyl ester and another that produced greater than 99% l-isoleucine methyl ester. Capture–mark–release–recapture field tests with males at Franklinville established that most males were recaptured in traps baited with the same blends with which they were originally captured. The populations characterized at Franklinville, NY, have also been found at numerous locations from eastern Canada and the northeast and north central USA, sometimes in allopatry and sometimes in sympatry. At a site in Carver, MA, P. anxia males responded to blends of the methyl esters of l-valine and l-isoleucine, and Carver females produced blends similar to those to which the males responded. Populations responding to blends have been identified only from southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. At a field site near Waterloo, NY, the addition of small proportions of l-isoleucine methyl ester to lures containing l-valine methyl ester did not affect trap captures, but higher proportions of l-isoleucine methyl ester were inhibitory, decreasing trap captures.
Keywordsl-Isoleucine methyl ester l-Valine methyl ester Sex pheromone Scarabaeidae Melolonthinae Pheromone races
P.S.R. thanks Satoshi Nojima and Bruce Morris for generously sharing their knowledge of GC-EAD and chemistry techniques. We thank Donna Boyce of Communication Services at Cornell University in Geneva, NY, for assistance with illustrations. P.S.R. also thanks Michael G. Villani, friend, mentor, and committee chair, who passed away on May 15, 2001.
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