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A male-produced aggregation-sex pheromone of the beetle Arhopalus rusticus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae, Spondylinae) may be useful in managing this invasive species.

  • Author(s): Žunič-Kosi, Alenka
  • Stritih-Peljhan, Nataša
  • Zou, Yunfan
  • McElfresh, J Steven
  • Millar, Jocelyn G
  • et al.
Abstract

The longhorned beetle Arhopalus rusticus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae, Spondylinae) is a common species in conifer forests of the Northern Hemisphere, but with global trade, it has invaded and become established in New Zealand, Australia, and South America. Arhopalus rusticus is a suspected vector of the phytopathogenic nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, the causative agent of pine wilt disease, which is a major threat to pine forests worldwide. Here, we report the identification of a volatile, male-produced aggregation-sex pheromone for this species. Headspace odours from males contained a major male-specific compound, identified as (2 S, 5E)-6,10-dimethyl-5,9-undecadien-2-ol (common name (S)-fuscumol), and a minor component (E)-6,10-dimethyl-5,9-undecadien-2-one (geranylacetone). Both compounds are known pheromone components for species in the same subfamily. In field trials in its native range in Slovenia, (S)-fuscumol was significantly more attractive to beetles of both sexes, than racemic fuscumol and a blend of host plant volatiles commonly used as an attractant for this species. Fuscumol-baited traps also caught significant numbers of another spondylidine species, Spondylis buprestoides (L.), and a rare click beetle, Stenagostus rufus (De Geer). The pheromone can be exploited as a cost-effective and environmentally safe tool for detection and monitoring of this invasive species at ports of entry, and for monitoring the beetle's distribution and population trends in both endemic and invasive populations.

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