Evidence for Long-range Mate Attraction Mediated By a Male-produced Sex Pheromone in Paysandisia archon (Lepidoptera : Castniidae)

Rachid Hamidi & 

Brigitte Frérot 

Journal of Insect Behavior (2020)Cite this article

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Paysandisia archon (Lepidoptera : Castniidae) is a pest on palms in Europe. The moth was introduced about twenty years ago, when infected palms were imported from South America. In P. archon, little is known about mate location and the putative activity of the male-produced sex pheromone. The aim of this study was, therefore, to study olfactory responses of P. archon to conspecifics, with and without visual cues, in a wind tunnel and in the field. Results showed that the virgin males exhibiting the scratching behavior, whether they were visible or not, attracted virgin females at long range. Females approached the males, and some landed close to them. In P. archon, the mate location is thus mediated by a long-range pheromone released by males during the scratching behavior. Our findings are providing new insights into the chemical ecology and mate location in P. archon and may serve to further develop efficiency in handling the pest.

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