Electrophysiological and chemical analysis of sex pheromone communication system of the mottled umber, Erannis defoliaria (Lepidoptera: Geometridae)

Bill S. Hansson, Gabor Szöcs, Frank Schmidt, Wittko Francke, Christer Löfstedt, Miklos Tóth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


(Z,Z,Z)-3,6,9-nonadecatriene (Z3, Z6, Z9-19Hy) and (Z,Z)-3,9-cis-6,7-epoxy-nonadecadiene (Z3, Z9-cis-6,7-epo-19Hy) were identified in pheromone gland extracts from female Erannis defoliaria. The two components were found in a 1:3 ratio, with the main component, Z3, Z9-cis-6,7-epo-19Hy present at an amount of about 1.5 ng per female. The components were identified by means of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, gas chromatography-electroantennography and gas chromatography-single sensillum recordings. Single sensillum measurements on the male antenna showed two physiological types of sensilla. One type was characterized by a large spike amplitude cell responding to Z3, Z9-cis-6,7-epoxy-19Hy and a small spike amplitude cell responding to Z3, Z6, Z9-19Hy. A second type responded only with a large spike amplitude cell to the epoxide, and this cell was inhibited by the triene. Of the two pheromone components, the epoxide gave the higher response in the EAG tests. Preliminary field tests support the identification of the pheromone components. The epoxide was also found to be present in the extract of the pheromone gland of Colotois pennaria, and males of C. pennaria and Agriopis marginaria were trapped by the mixture of the identified compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1887-1897
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1990


  • (Z,Z)-3,9-cis-6,7-epoxy-nonadecadiene
  • Agriopis marginaria
  • Colotois pennaria
  • Erannis defoliaria (Z,Z,Z)-3,6,9-nonadecatriene
  • Geometridae
  • Lepidoptera
  • electroantennogram
  • identification
  • peripheral inhibitor
  • sex pheromone
  • single sensillum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry

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