Gries R1, Schaefer PW, Hahn R, Khaskin G, Ramaseshiah G, Singh B, Hehar GK, Gries G.
J Chem Ecol. 2007 Sep;33(9):1774-86. Epub 2007 Jul 20.The Indian gypsy moth, Lymantria obfuscata (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), has been recognized as a distinct species since 1865 but closely resembles a diminutive form of gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar. We tested the hypothesis that the sex pheromones of L. obfuscata and L. dispar are similar. In laboratory mate acceptance studies, very few male L. dispar made copulatory attempts when paired with female L. obfuscata, suggesting that female L. obfuscata emit one or more pheromone components antagonistic to male L. dispar. In coupled gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) analyses of pheromone gland extract of female L. obfuscata, (Z)-2-methyloctadec-7-ene (2Me-7Z-18Hy) and (7R,8S)-cis-7,8-epoxy-2-methyloctadecane [(+)-disparlure] were most abundant and elicited the strongest responses from male L. obfuscata antennae. In field experiments near Solan (Himachal Pradesh, India), 2Me-7Z-18Hy and (+)-disparlure in combination attracted more male L. obfuscata than did either component alone. This two-component sex pheromone contrasts with the single-component sex pheromone [(+)-disparlure] of L. dispar. The contrasting composition of the lymantriid communities inhabited by L. obfuscata and L. dispar may explain why 2Me-7Z-18Hy is a pheromone component in L. obfuscata and a pheromone antagonist in L. dispar and why (-)-disparlure reduces pheromonal attraction of male L. dispar but not male L. obfuscata. Read More