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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Identification of male produced compounds in the bark beetle Polygraphus subopacus and establishment of (Z)-2-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene)-ethanol as an aggregation pheromone component

Viklund, Lina; Bang, Joakim; Schroeder, Martin; Hedenstrom, Erik


Bark beetles of the genus Polygraphus have recently been involved in large bark beetle outbreaks in central Sweden, together with the European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus. Three species of Polygraphus can be found in this region; Polygraphus poligraphus, Polygraphus punctifrons and Polygraphus subopacus. Efficient pheromone traps would facilitate further investigations of these species and their role in bark beetle outbreaks. Pheromone compounds have previously been identified in P. poligraphus and P. punctifrons, but not in P. subopacus. Thus, we allowed males and females of P. subopacus to bore in the bark of stem sections of Norway spruce (Picea abies) in the laboratory. Volatile organic compounds from boring insects were sampled with SPME and analysed with GC-MS and several male-specific compounds were observed. The male specific compounds were 3-methyl-3-buten-1-ol, 3-methyl-2-buten-1-ol, 3-methyl-2-butenal, grandisol, fragranol, (Z)-2-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene)-ethanol, (E)-2-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene)-ethanol, (Z)-2-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene)-acetaldehyde, (E)-2-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene)-acetaldehyde, geranial and gamma-isogeraniol. (Z)-2-(3,3-dimethylcyclohexylidene)-ethanol, [(Z)-DMCHE], was identified from GC-MS analysis to be the major male-specific compound while the (E)-isomer, [(E)-DMCHE], was found as a minor compound. These two compounds gave positive responses in EAG analyses with antennae from males and females of P. subopacus. Thus, (Z)- and (E)-DMCHE were used in a field experiment in central Sweden but only (Z)-DMCHE was found to be attractive to males and females of P. subopacus. Consequently, (Z)-DMCHE was established to be a component of P. subopacus aggregation pheromone.


Polygraphus subopacus; (Z)-2-(3; 3-dimethylcyclohexylidene)-ethanol; Bark beetle; SPME; GC-MS; EAG

Published in

2021, volume: 31, number: 6, pages: 367-376

Authors' information

Viklund, Lina
Mid-Sweden University
Bang, Joakim
Mid-Sweden University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Hedenstrom, Erik
Mid-Sweden University

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