Behavioral and electrophysiological activity of (Z,E)-7,9,11-dodecatrienyl formate, a mimic of the major sex pheromone component of carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae

J. L. Todd, J. G. Millar, R. S. Vetter, Thomas Charles Baker

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The behavioral and electrophysiological activity of a mimic [(Z,E)7,9,11-dodecatrienyl formate] of the major sex pheromone component [(Z,E) 9,11,13-tetradecatrienal] of carob moth was assessed. Wind-tunnel bioassays demonstrated that the formate was as effective as natural gland extracts, and significantly more effective than the trienal alone or than the trienal blended with two minor pheromone components, in evoking source contact. Dispensers containing the formate were as effective as trienal-containing blend lures in attracting males when placed at the same dosage in traps in date gardens. Single-cell recordings showed that at least two olfactory neurons, differentiated by spike amplitude, are located in the long trichoid hairs on male carob moth antennae. Dose-response relationships indicated that puffs from cartridges loaded with at least 0.1 μg of the formate or of the trienal were necessary to elicit spiking by either the small or the large-spiking cell within a sensillum. Cross-adaptation studies demonstrated that both compounds stimulated the same large-spiking cell. The frequencies of spikes evoked from the large cell when stimulated by emissions from 0.1-μg, 1-μg, or 10-μg cartridges of either the formate or the trienal were not significantly different, suggesting that the formate is an effective mimic of the trienal at the antennal receptor cell level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2331-2352
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1992


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry

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