Male-produced aggregation pheromone of the cerambycid beetle Neoclytus acuminatus acuminatus

Emerson S Lacey, Matthew D Ginzel, Jocelyn G Millar, Lawrence M Hanks
Journal of Chemical Ecology 2004, 30 (8): 1493-507
This is the first fully verified report of an aggregation pheromone produced by a cerambycid beetle species. Field bioassays with adult Neoclytus acuminatus acuminatus (F.) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) revealed that males produce a pheromone that attracts both sexes. Extracts of odors from males contained a single major male-specific compound, (2S,3S)-hexanediol. Field trials determined that both sexes were attracted by the racemic blend of (2S,3S)- and (2R,3R)-hexanediols and that activity was similar to enantiomerically enriched (2S,3S)-hexanediol (e.e. 80.2%). However, the blend of all four 2,3-hexanediol stereoisomers attracted few beetles, indicating inhibition by one or both of the (2R*,3S*)-stereoisomers. Females of the cerambycid Curius dentatus Newman were attracted to traps baited with the four component blend, suggesting that a male-produced sex pheromone for this species may contain (2R,3S)-hexanediol and/or (2S,3R)-hexanediol. The pheromone of N. a. acuminatus, and presumed pheromone of C. dentatus, bear structural similarities to those produced by males of six other species in the Cerambycinae (straight chains of 6, 8, or 10 carbons with hydroxyl or carbonyl groups at C2 and C3). It is likely that males of other species in this large subfamily produce pheromones that are variations on this structural motif.

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