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Identification of the Sex Pheromone of a Protected Species, the Spanish Moon Moth Graellsia isabellae

  • Author(s): Millar, Jocelyn G.
  • McElfresh, J. Steven
  • Romero, Carmen
  • Vila, Marta
  • Marí-Mena, Neus
  • Lopez-Vaamonde, Carlos
  • et al.
Abstract

Sex attractant pheromones are highly sensitive and selective tools for detecting and monitoring populations of insects, yet there has been only one reported case of pheromones being used to monitor protected species. Here, we report the identification and synthesis of the sex pheromone of a protected European moth species, Graellsia isabellae (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae), as the single component, (4E,6E,11Z)-hexadecatrienal. In preliminary field trials, lures loaded with this compound attracted male moths from populations of this species at a number of widely separated field sites in France, Switzerland, and Spain, clearly demonstrating the utility of pheromones in sampling potentially endangered insect species.

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