Chemical and behavioral analyses of volatile sex pheromone components released by calling Heliothis virescens (F.) females (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

P. E.A. Teal, J. H. Tumlinson, R. R. Heath

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98 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gas chromatographic and mass spectral analyses were conducted on pheromone gland extracts, volatiles collected from excised pheromone glands, and volatiles collected from calling females. In addition to tetradecanal, (Z)-9-tetradecenal, hexadecanal, (Z)-7-hexadecenal, (Z)-9-hexadecenal, and (Z)-11-hexadecenal, four other compounds, tetradecanol, (Z)-9-tetradecenol, hexadecanol, and (Z)-11-hexadecenol, were also identified from gland extracts. Only the six aldehyde components were found in gland and female volatile collections. The mean percentage of components identified from volatiles collected from calling females was 13.0% tetradecanal, 18.1% (Z)-9-tetradecenal, 7.3% hexadecanal, 0.6% (Z)-7-hexadecenal, 1.0% (Z)-9-hexadecenal, and 60.0% (Z)-11-hexadecenal. Bioassays using rubber septa formulated to release the female volatile blend indicated that all six aldehyde components play major roles in close-range male reproductive behavior. Deletion of (Z)-9-hexadecenal from the six-component blend reduced the number of copulation attempts while (Z)-7-hexadecenal exerted subtle effects on all close range behaviors. Tetradecanal affected the number of times males reorient from close range. Deletion of hexadecanal from the six-component blend resulted in a significant reduction in the number of times males landed. Comparison of the six-component synthetic blend (released at somewhat less than 1 female equivalent per hour) with calling females indicated that the six-component blend was indistinguishable from the females in inducing all of the behaviors monitored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-126
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry

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