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Male sex pheromone of a giant danaine butterfly, Idea leuconoe.

Summary citation from AGRICOLA, the online catalog of the National Agricultural Library (NAL)

Male sex pheromone of a giant danaine butterfly, Idea leuconoe.

Males or a giant danaine butterfly. Idea leuconoe, display hair-pencils during courtship. The females were visually attracted to and olfactorily arrested by an artificial butterfly model to which male hairpencil extracts were added. The hairpencil extracts contained a complex mixture of volatiles, including pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) derivatives (danaidone, viridifloric beta-lactone), aromatics (phenol, p-cresol, benzoic acid, terpenoids (geranyl methyl thioether, (E.E)-farnesol), a series of gamma-lactones (6-hydnoxy-4-undecanolides and its homologs), hydrocarbons [(Z)-9-tricosene, etc.], and several compounds with higher molecular weight. A mixture of the major volatiles applied to a butterfly dummy strongly elicited an abdomen-curling acceptance posture in females. Viridifloric beta-lactone and danaidone induced significant electroantennogram responses on the female's antennae, suggesting their principal role together with other hairpencil components as a sex pheromone to seduce females. I. leuconoe males seem to acquire the precursor for both of the PA fragments from the host plant. Parsonsia laevigata (Apocynaceae), during the larval stage; thereby they do not show pharmacophagous behavior towards PA-containing plants during the adult stage. However, males are pharmacophagously attracted to and feed on a number of simple phenolic compounds in a manner similar to other danaine species towards PAs. Wild males sequester one of the phagostimulants, (-)-mellein, in the hairpencils in varying quantities. Phenolic compounds incorporated in the hairpencils may act primarily as warning odors linked with the defensive PAs present in the body tissue.

Journal Title: Journal of chemical ecology.
Journal Volume/Issue: May 1996. v. 22 (5)
Main Author: Nishida, R.
Other Authors: Schulz, S., Kim, C.S., Fukami, H., Kuwahara, Y., Honda, K., Hayashi, N.
Format: Article
Language: English
Subjects: Lepidoptera
sex pheromones
volatile compounds
chemical analysis
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