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(R)-Desmolactone Is a Sex Pheromone or Sex Attractant for the Endangered Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle Desmocerus californicus dimorphus and Several Congeners (Cerambycidae: Lepturinae)

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/cc08hh326

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  • We report here that (4R,9Z)-hexadec-9-en-4-olide [(R)-desmolactone] is a sex attractant or sex pheromone for multiple species and subspecies in the cerambycid genus Desmocerus. This compound was previously identified as a female-produced sex attractant pheromone of Desmocerus californicus californicus. Headspace volatiles from female Desmocerus aureipennis aureipennis contained (R)-desmolactone, and the antennae of adult males of two species responded strongly to synthetic (R)-desmolactone in coupled gas chromatography-electroantennogram analyses. In field bioassays in California, Oregon, and British Columbia, traps baited with synthetic (R)-desmolactone captured males of several Desmocerus species and subspecies. Only male beetles were captured, indicating that this compound acts as a sex-specific attractant, rather than as a signal for aggregation. In targeted field bioassays, males of the US federally threatened subspecies Desmocerus californicus dimorphus responded to the synthetic attractant in a dose dependent manner. Our results represent the first example of a ‘‘generic’’ sex pheromone used by multiple species in the subfamily Lepturinae, and demonstrate that pheromone-baited traps may be a sensitive and efficient method of monitoring the threatened species Desmocerus californicus dimorphus, commonly known as the valley elderberry longhorn beetle.
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  • Ray, A. M., Arnold, R. A., Swift, I., Schapker, P. A., McCann, S., Marshall, C. J., ... & Millar, J. G. (2014). (R)-Desmolactone Is a Sex Pheromone or Sex Attractant for the Endangered Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle Desmocerus californicus dimorphus and Several Congeners (Cerambycidae: Lepturinae). PLoS ONE, 9(12), e115498. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115498
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  • 9
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  • 12
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  • Funding for this project was provided by the Robert Borcer Endowment (Xavier University, www.xavier.edu, to AMR), National Science Foundation Division of Biological Infrastructure (www.nsf.gov) grant number #0847965 (to CJM), and the National Research Initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (www.csrees.usda.gov), grant number #2009-35302-05047 (to JGM).
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