Identification of the Female-Produced Sex Pheromone of Tischeria ekebladella, an Oak Leafmining Moth

Béla Péter Molnár, Armin Tröger, Theodora B. Toshova, Mitko Subchev, Erik J. van Nieukerken, J. C. Koster, Gábor Szocs, Miklós Tóth, Wittko Francke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The native leafmining moth Tischeria ekebladella (Lepidoptera: Tischeriidae) feeds on oaks and recently has become a pest of silviculture and urban green areas in central Europe. The behavioral responses of male moths to hexane extracts of whole bodies of calling females or males were tested under laboratory conditions. Only extracts of females elicited responses from males. Analysis of extracts by coupled gas chromatography/electroantennographic detection revealed the presence of two electroantennogram-active peaks. Structure elucidation of these compounds, by gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry and independent synthesis revealed them to be (3Z,6Z,9Z)-tricosa-3,6,9-triene and (3Z,6Z,9Z,19Z)-tricosa-3,6,9,19-tetraene. While the triene was present in both sexes, the tetraene was female-specific. The latter is a new structure for a pheromone component of Lepidoptera and a novel natural product. Field trapping tests, carried out in a mixed oak forest near Budapest (Hungary), using synthetic compounds applied to rubber dispensers, showed that the tetraene per se elicited catches of males in large numbers. When the triene was added to the tetraene in a ratio of 1:1, there was no increase in trap catch; the triene alone did not elicit catches of males. For monitoring this insect, the tetraene, applied to rubber dispensers at a dose of 300 μg, is a potent sex attractant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1298-1305
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2012



  • (3Z,6Z,9Z)- tricosa-3,6,9-triene
  • (3Z,6Z,9Z,19Z)-tricosa-3,6,9,19-tetraene
  • Early diverging Lepidoptera
  • Field trapping
  • GC-EAD
  • Insect pest
  • Oak leaf-miner
  • Sex pheromone
  • Tischeria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Molnár, B. P., Tröger, A., Toshova, T. B., Subchev, M., van Nieukerken, E. J., Koster, J. C., Szocs, G., Tóth, M., & Francke, W. (2012). Identification of the Female-Produced Sex Pheromone of Tischeria ekebladella, an Oak Leafmining Moth. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 38(10), 1298-1305.