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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 1997

Individual Variation and Repeatability of Sex Pheromone Emission of Female Turnip Moths Agrotis segetum

Svensson, MGE; Bengtsson, M; Lofqvist, J


Individual variation of the female sex pheromone signal in Agrotis segetum was determined by gas chromatographic analysis. The individuals varied extensively, both in absolute and relative amounts of the three major pheromone components; Z5-10:OAc, Z7-12:OAc and Z9-14:OAc. Within individuals there was a strong correspondence between the sex pheromone gland content and the signal actually emitted. Both pheromone amounts and proportions of components were correlated with effluvia and extracts; with coefficients of 0.55 for total amounts and 0.66 for proportions. In addition, the repeatability of emitted pheromone components by individual females over three calling periods was high, with correlation coefficients between 0.43 and 0.72. Variation among individual females, however, was observed. There were no significant differences between wild-collected and laboratory-reared females in average ratios of the major pheromone components in pheromone gland extracts, only in total amounts. The biological significance of the interindividual variation among females is discussed in the context of population dynamics and sexual selection.


Agrotis segetum; Lepidoptera; (Z)-5-decenyl acetate; (Z)-7 dodecenyl acetate; (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate; sex pheromone; individual variation; repeatability; effluvia entrainment

Published in

Journal of Chemical Ecology
1997, Volume: 23, number: 7, pages: 1833-1850

      SLU Authors

    • Bengtsson, Marie

      • Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Löfqvist, Jan

        • Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

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