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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #247622

Title: Sex Pheromone of the Pine False Webworm Acantholyda erythrocephala (Hymenoptera Pamphiliidae)

item STAPLES, JOSEPH - University Of Southern Maine
item BARTELT, ROBERT - Retired ARS Employee
item Cosse, Allard
item WHITMAN, DOUGLAS - Illinois State University

Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/16/2009
Publication Date: 1/12/2010
Citation: Staples, J.K., Bartelt, R.J., Cosse, A.A., Whitman, D.W. 2010. Sex Pheromone of the Pine False Webworm Acantholyda erythrocephala (Hymenoptera Pamphiliidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology. 35(12):1448-1460.

Interpretive Summary: We have identified the sex pheromone of the pine false webworm; a significant pest of white pine, red pine, and Scots pine in both forests and plantations. Outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada can encompass thousands of hectares and persist for 20 years or more, resulting in a reduction of growth and increased mortality of host trees. Numerous strategies considered as a means of control for this pest have met with variable success including application of synthetic pesticides, natural toxins such as neem extracts, and biological control. However, many of these strategies require precise knowledge of the distribution and phenology of the pine false webworm over large tracts of forest. As such, a pheromone lure could be valuable tool for monitoring, trapping, and/or controlling pine false webworm by mating disruption.

Technical Abstract: Females of the pine false webworm Acantholyda erythrocephala (L) produce the sex pheromone (Z)-6,14-pentadecadienal, which attracts flying males in the field. Using gas chromatography coupled with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) and mass spectrometry (GC-MS), we detected (Z)-6,14-pentadecadienal in volatile collections and in whole body extracts of female A. erythrocephala. Females, but not males, also exhibited a 25-carbon cuticular hydrocarbon, (Z,Z)-1,9,15-pentacosatriene, which can oxidize to (Z)-6,14-pentadecadienal upon exposure to air and sunlight. (Z,Z)-1,9,15-Pentacosatriene and (Z)-6,14-pentadecadienal identifications were corroborated by comparison with synthetic standards. (Z)-6,14-Pentadecadienal is the second pheromone identified for pamphilliid sawflies and the first to elicit strong field attraction, and thus offer potential as a pheromone lure to aid in control of this forest pest.