Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/19/2014
Publication Date: 2/8/2014
Citation: Hoover, K., Keena, M., Nehme, M., Wang, S., Meng, P., Zhang, A. 2014. Sex-specific trail pheromone mediates complex mate finding behavior in Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology. 40(2):169-180. Interpretive Summary: The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is an invasive species that attacks, damages, and eventually kills hardwood trees, especially, maples, elms, and horse chestnut in North American. ALB native ranges are in Asia and they were accidentally introduced into the United States by solid wood packing materials used in international trade. We have previously identified and reported ALB male-produced short-range attractant and female-produced contact sex attractant. In a collaborative effort, four compounds were found as ALB female-specific components from their trails. Labotory bioassays using synthetic versions of these female-specific components showed that the males followed the chemical blend and the females deviated from the chemical blend trail. Preliminary field tests conducted in China demonstrated that males showed a significant interest in following the chemical blend trail. This information can help scientists understand ALB mating behavior and be used by regulatory agencies, such as the Forest Service and APHIS, to develop more efficient traps to detect ALB infestation, monitor ALB populations, and assure timely management interventions of this invasive species.
Technical Abstract: Anoplophora glabripennis (Motsch.) is a polyphagous member of the Cerambycidae, which is considered worldwide to be one of the most serious quarantine pests attacking deciduous trees. We isolated and identified four chemicals from the trail wash of A. glabripennis virgin females that were not present in those of mature males. These compounds were identified as 2-methyldocosane and (Z)-9-tricosene (major components), as well as (Z)-9-pentacosene and (Z)-7-pentacosene (minor components). The full pheromone blend was attractive to males, regardless of mating status, but repelled virgin females, suggesting that females may use the pheromone to avoid competition for males. The major pheromone components were also highly attractive to virgin males. The minor trail pheromone components alone were only attractive to females, and may be used as a spacing pheromone by facilitating the ability of the female to retrace her oviposition sites in the tree. The timing of production of the pheromone blend coincides with the timing of sexual maturation of the female.