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J Chem Ecol. 2003 May;29(5):1253-68.

Attractiveness of fruit and flower odorants detected by olfactory receptor neurons in the fruit chafer Pachnoda marginata.

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  • 1Department of Crop Science, Chemical Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden.


We studied the attraction of the African fruit chafer Pachnoda marginata Drury (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) to banana and 34 synthetic plant compounds previously shown to be detected by P. marginata olfactory receptor neurons. The behavioral studies were carried out in a two-choice olfactometer, where the attraction of beetles to lures and controls was monitored in 30-min intervals during whole days. Monitoring of the attraction over time gave additional information when comparing relative attractiveness of different compounds. Seventeen of the test compounds, primarily phenylic compounds, fruit esters, isovaleric acid, acetoin, and some floral or fruit terpenes, were attractive to P. marginata. Compounds showing no attractiveness included green leaf volatiles, lactones. and several alcohols, but also phenylic compounds and esters. One case of blend synergism was demonstrated, as well as some examples of sexual dimorphism in attraction. The significance of certain compounds and receptor neurons for olfactory-guided behavior of phytophagous scarabs is discussed.

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