Phenol—another cockchafer attractant shared by Melolontha hippocastani Fabr. and M. melolontha L

Joachim Ruther, Andreas Reinecke, Till Tolasch, Monika Hilker
Zeitschrift Für Naturforschung. C, A Journal of Biosciences 2002, 57 (9-10): 910-3
The response of the two most abundant cockchafer species in central Europe, Melolontha hippocastani and M. melolontha, towards phenol, mixtures of phenol with the leaf alcohol (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol and the known cockchafer pheromones, 1,4-benzoquinone (M. hippocastani) and toluquinone (M. melolontha), was investigated in the field. During the swarming period at dusk, phenol attracted males of both species, and enhanced the known attraction of cockchafer males towards (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol. A mixture of phenol plus (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol was less attractive for M. hippocastani males than a mixture of (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol plus 1,4-benzoquinone, whereas phenol plus (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol attracted as many M. melolontha males as a mixture of (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol plus toluquinone. In both species three component mixtures containing phenol, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, and the respective benzoquinone did not capture more males than two component mixtures consisting of only (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol and the benzoquinone. A possible role of phenol as another cockchafer sex pheromone component is discussed.

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