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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

The aggregation-sex pheromones of the cerambycid beetles Anaglyptus mysticus and Xylotrechus antilope ssp. antilope: new model species for insect conservation through pheromone-based monitoring

Molander, Mikael A.; Eriksson, Bjorn; Winde, Inis B.; Zou, Yunfan; Millar, Jocelyn G.; Larsson, Mattias C.


We studied the pheromone chemistry of the cerambycids Anaglyptus mysticus and Xylotrechus antilope ssp. antilope with the goal of identifying attractants that could be used as tools for pheromone-based monitoring of these two species, which are rare and red-listed in parts of northern Europe. Beetles were reared from naturally colonized branches of hazel (Corylus avellana) or oak (Quercusrobur), respectively, and used for headspace sampling. The extracts of volatiles were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Males of A. mysticus consistently produced large quantities of (R)-3-hydroxy-2-hexanone and 2-nonanone, minor amounts of 2,3-hexanedione, and trace amounts of six other compounds. The average proportion of 2-nonanone to (R)-3-hydroxy-2-hexanone was 70:100. Males of X. antilope produced large quantities of (S)-2-hydroxy-3-octanone, and minor quantities of 2,3-octanedione. None of these compounds were present in the corresponding extracts of females from either species. The attractiveness of the dominant compounds produced by each species was determined in field bioassays. Lures with racemic 3-hydroxy-2-hexanone and 2-nonanone as single compounds were not attractive to A. mysticus. However, the compounds acted synergistically in blends of 100:100 and 160:100 of 2-nonanone to the hydroxyketone's (R)-enantiomer, but not in a 40:100 blend. Similarly (S)-2-hydroxy-3-octanone and its racemate attracted significantly more X. antilope than controls. Males and females of both species were captured in approximately equal numbers. The aggregation-sex pheromones of A. mysticus and X.antilope have high potential to serve as sensitive and efficient tools for detection and monitoring of local populations, and in studies of the species' ecology and conservation requirements.


Cerambycidae; (R)-3-Hydroxy-2-hexanone; 2-Nonanone; (S)-2-Hydroxy-3-octanone; Semiochemical; Monitoring

Published in

2019, Volume: 29, number: 3, pages: 111-124