Sex-specific trail pheromone mediates complex mate finding behavior in Anoplophora glabripennis.
Anoplophora glabripennis (Motsch.) is a polyphagous member of the Cerambycidae, and is considered, worldwide, to be one of the most serious quarantine pests of deciduous trees. We isolated four chemicals from the trail of A. glabripennis virgin and mated females that were not present in trails of mature males. These compounds were identified as 2-methyldocosane and (Z)-9-tricosene (major components), as well as (Z)-9-pentacosene and (Z)-7-pentacosene (minor components); every trail wash sample contained all four chemical components, although the amounts and ratios changed with age of the female. Males responded to the full pheromone blend, regardless of mating status, but virgin females chose the control over the pheromone, suggesting that they may use it as a spacing pheromone to avoid intraspecific competition and maximize resources. Virgin, but not mated, males also chose the major pheromone components in the absence of the minor components, over the control. Taken together, these results indicate that all four chemicals are components of the trail pheromone. The timing of production of the ratios of the pheromone blend components that produced positive responses from males coincided with the timing of sexual maturation of the female.