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Environ Entomol. 2013 Jun;42(3):548-57. doi: 10.1603/EN12298.

Sensory adaptation of antennae and sex pheromone-mediated flight behavior in male oriental fruit moths (Leptidoptera: Tortricidae) after prolonged exposure to single and tertiary blends of synthetic sex pheromone.

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  • 1Department of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Molise, Via De Sanctis, 86100 Campobasso, Italy.


Sensory adaptation has been measured in the antennae of male Grapholita molesta (Busck) after 15 min of exposure to its main pheromone compound (Z)-8-dodecen-1-yl acetate (Z8-12:OAc) at the aerial concentration of 1 ng/m(3) measured in orchards treated with pheromone for mating disruption. Exposing males to this aerial concentration of Z8-12:OAc for 15 min, however, had only a small effect on their ability to orientate by flight to virgin calling females in a flight tunnel. Experiments were undertaken to determine if exposure to the main pheromone compound in combination with the two biologically active minor compounds of this species, (E)-8-dodecen-1-yl acetate (E8-12:OAc) and (Z)-8-dodecen-1-ol (Z8-12:OH) would induce greater levels of sensory adaptation and have a greater effect on male sexual behavior. The exposure of male antennae to 0.5 g/m(3) air of one of the three pheromone compounds induced sensory adaptation to this compound and to the other two pheromone compounds demonstrating cross adaptation. Average percentage sensory adaptation to a pheromone compound was similar after 15 min of exposure to 1 ng/m(3) air of Z8-12:OAc, or to 1 ng/m(3) air of a 1:1:1 or 93:6:1 blend of Z8-12:OAc, E8-12:OAc, and Z8-12:OH. The exposure of males to 1 ng/m(3) air of Z8-12:OAc or the two ratios of Z8-12:OAc, E8-12:OAc, and Z8-12:OH for 15 min had no effect on their ability to orientate to a virgin calling female. The implications of these results for the operative mechanisms of sex pheromone-mediated mating disruption of this species are discussed.

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