Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 52–62 | Cite as

Male-Produced Pheromone in the European Woodwasp, Sirex noctilio

  • Miriam F. Cooperband
  • Katalin Böröczky
  • Ashley Hartness
  • Tappey H. Jones
  • Kelley E. Zylstra
  • James H. Tumlinson
  • Victor C. Mastro


A male-produced pheromone that attracts both males and females was identified for the European woodwasp, Sirex noctilio, a serious pest of pine trees. Males displayed excitatory behaviors when placed in groups, and were attracted to the odors from males that were 2-5-d-old, but not to odors from males that were 0-1-d-old. An unsaturated short-chain alcohol, (Z)-3-decen-1-ol, was discovered in samples collected on SuperQ filters over groups of males and identified by using micro-derivatization reactions and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The compound was not detected in volatile samples from females. Gas chromatography coupled electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) of antennae from males exposed to male headspace odors produced strong antennal responses to the main peak of (Z)-3-decen-1-ol, as well as to an unknown minor component that had a similar retention time. Antennae from both males and females responded to synthetic (Z)-3-decen-1-ol. Several different synthetic candidates for the GC-EAD active minor components were selected based on GC-MS and GC-EAD responses to male headspace collections. These synthetic compounds were tested for antennal activity using GC-EAD, and those that produced strong responses were blended with the major component and tested for male attraction in the Y-tube olfactometer at different concentrations and ratios. Males tested in the Y-tube olfactometer were attracted to a synthetic blend of (Z)-3-decen-1-ol and (Z)-4-decen-1-ol at a ratio of 100:1. Whereas the addition of some suspected minor compounds reduced attraction, the addition of a third compound found in male emanations that produced strong male antennal responses, (E,E)-2,4-decadienal (at a ratio of 100:1:1), resulted in attraction of both males (Y-tube and wind tunnel) and females (wind tunnel).

Key Words

Pheromone Y-tube Olfactometer Wind tunnel Attractant Wood wasp Hymenoptera Siricidae Invasive insect 



We thank Michael Crawford for his help in providing infested wood and adult Sirex for this study. We are thankful to Jocelyn Millar, Ashot Khrimian, and Allard Cossé for assistance and discussions on chemistry. We thank Daniel Lafoon, Hanna Wingard, Sian Bailey, and Nate McCartney for technical help. We thank Damon Crook, Sandy Allan, Juli Gould, Meg Allen, Joe Francese, and Mike Stefan for comments on the manuscript. Mention of a commercial product does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation for its use by USDA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miriam F. Cooperband
    • 1
  • Katalin Böröczky
    • 2
  • Ashley Hartness
    • 1
  • Tappey H. Jones
    • 3
  • Kelley E. Zylstra
    • 4
  • James H. Tumlinson
    • 2
  • Victor C. Mastro
    • 1
  1. 1.Otis Laboratory, USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHSTBuzzards BayUSA
  2. 2.Center for Chemical EcologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryVirginia Military InstituteLexingtonUSA
  4. 4.USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHSTNorth SyracuseUSA

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