Identification of a pheromone blend attractive to Manduca sexta (L.) males in a wind tunnel

James H. Tumlinson, Margaret M. Brennan, Robert E. Doolittle, Everett R. Mitchell, Annette Brabham, Basilios E. Mazomenos, Alfred H. Baumhover, D. Michael Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Analyses of solvent rinses of the external surfaces of pheromone glands excised from calling female tobacco hornworm moths, Manduca sexta (L.), revealed the presence of the following compounds: (Z)‐9‐hexadecenal, (Z)‐11‐hexadecenal, (E)‐11‐hexadecenal, hexadecanal, (E,Z)‐10,12‐hexadecadienal, (E,E)‐10,12‐hexadecadienal, (E,E,Z)‐10,12,14‐hexadecatrienal, (E,E,E,)‐10,12,14‐hexadecatrienal, (Z)‐11‐octadecenal, (Z)‐13‐octadecenal, octadecanal, and (Z,Z)‐11,13‐octadecadienal. The two trienals were identified by mass and PMR spectral analyses and by ozonolyses, and their structures were confirmed by synthesis. In a wind tunnel male tobacco hornworm moths exhibit the same behaviors in response to a synthetic blend of all of the components, the gland rinse, or a calling female. Both (E,Z)‐10,12‐hexadecadienal and (E,E,Z)‐10,12,14‐hexadecatrienal are required to stimulate males to complete the characteristic behavioral sequence: anemotaxis, approaching and touching the pheromone source, and bending their abdomens in apparent copulatory attempts. The other components of the blend may play more subtle roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-271
Number of pages17
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of a pheromone blend attractive to Manduca sexta (L.) males in a wind tunnel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this