Identification of the female-produced sex pheromone of the European pepper moth (Duponchelia fovealis).
The European pepper moth (Duponchelia fovealis, Lepidoptera, Crambidae) is an invasive pest of greenhouses in many countries. In Hungary, it causes damages mostly on ornamentals. Coupled gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) and coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were used to examine the female gland extract. (Z)-11-hexadecenal (Z11-16:Ald), (E)-13-octadecenal (E13-18:Ald) and (Z)-13-octadecenal (Z13-18:Ald) were identified as active compounds. The approximate ratio of the three compounds in the crude pheromone gland extract was 10:1:0.1, respectively. Single sensillum recordings (SSR) showed that neuron 'a' responded with a high amplitude spike to both E13-18:Ald and Z13-18:Ald, while neuron 'b' housed in the same sensillum responded to Z11-16:Ald. Field evaluation of the identified compounds indicated that the E13-18:Ald was necessary to evoke the attraction of males; while the presence of Z13-18:Ald and Z11-16:Ald increased the trap catches. The highest number of caught males was recorded when E13-18:Ald, Z13-18:Ald and Z11-16:Ald were present in baits in the same ratio as in the female gland extract. The synthetic pheromone can be used in monitoring the flight of the pest and could potentially lead to the development of a mating disruption system.