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Proceedings of the NZ Plant Protection Conference 52 (1999): 254-258

Preliminary evidence for a female sex pheromone in porina (Wiseana copularis)

R.A. Allan, A. Jimenez-Perez and Q. Wang

ABSTRACT

Porina larvae (Wiseana spp.) are a pest of pasture in New Zealand. Preliminary observations of adult W. copularis in a laboratory wind tunnel revealed that female moths fan their wings during dusk just prior to copulation. Females stopped wing-fanning upon arrival of a male moth. Mating lasted two to three minutes and no multiple mating was observed. Gas chromatography analysis of the air surrounding wingfanning females showed the presence of four volatile compounds. Gas chromatography/electro-antennogram (GC-EAD) studies indicated that male antennae were strongly responsive to one of these compounds. These findings suggest that female moths release a sex pheromone to attract male moths prior to copulation.

Keywords: Hepialidae, sex pheromones, mating behaviour, porina, Wiseana copularis.

Copyright © 1999 New Zealand Plant Protection Society (Inc.).

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