Identification of polyenic hydrocarbons from the northern winter moth, Operophtera fagata, and development of a species specific lure for pheromone traps

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In order to elucidate the composition of the female sex pheromone of the northern (beech) winter moth, Operophtera fagata Scharf. (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), ovipositor extracts of unmated, calling females were analysed by gas chromatography with simultaneous electroantennographic and flame ionization detection (GC-EAD/FID). Male antennal responses indicated three active components, two of which had distinct matching peaks in the FID trace. Using coupled gas chromatography- mass spectrometry (GC-MS), these two compounds were identified as (9Z)-nonadecene (9Z-19:Hy), and (6Z,9Z)-nonadecadiene (6Z9Z-19:Hy), respectively. The third component, present in very small amounts only, was identified as (1,3Z,6Z,9Z)-nonadecatetraene (1,3Z6Z9Z-19:Hy), known as the sex pheromone of the common winter moth, O. brumata. Field tests revealed that traps baited with 6Z9Z-19:Hy and 1,3Z6Z9Z-19:Hy caugth large numbers of male O. fagata. Both compounds were found to be essential for attraction of O. fagata. In addition, the diene prevented captures of co-occurring O. brumata. In contrast, 9Z-19:Hy neither influenced the attractiveness of the two-component mixture towards O. fagata nor contributed to bait specificity. A binary mixture of 6Z9Z-19:Hy and 1,3Z6Z9Z-19:Hy in a ratio of 10:1, applied to pieces of rubber tubing, constituted a highly attractive and species-specific bait for O. fagata, which can be used for monitoring of the flight of this defoliator pest of deciduous forests.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences
  • Zoology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch

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