Identification of the gland secreting oviposition-deterring pheromone in the cabbage seed weevil, Ceutorhynchus assimilis, and the mechanism of pheromone deposition.
After laying an egg into a pod of Brassica napus, the female cabbage seed weevil, Ceutorhynchus assimilis, brushes the caudal setae of the eighth abdominal tergite (VIII UT) when walking along it, depositing an oviposition deterring pheromone (ODP). The VIII UT is periodically extended and withdrawn, thus repeatedly rubbing against the posterior fold of the seventh urotergite (VII UT) which bears the individual outlets of glandular epidermal cells. In postdiapause, sexually mature, gravid (i.e. oviferous) females (virgin or mated) the cells of this VII UT gland were hypertrophic, showing intense secretory activity. Extracts of VII UT from these individuals elicited strong electrophysiological responses from antennal club gustatory sensilla and deterred oviposition. In prediapause (sexually immature) females, the cells of the VII UT gland were neither hypertrophic nor active and an extract of their VII UT elicited no significant electrophysiological or behavioural response. Extract of female rectum was a less potent oviposition deterrent than VII UT extract and elicited an electrophysiological response similar to male rectum extract. An extract of ovarian calyces and ovaries elicited no behavioural response. It was concluded that ODP is secreted by the epidermal cells of the VII UT posterior fold.