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Characteristic odor of Osmoderma eremita identified as a male-released pheromone

Larsson, Mattias C; Hedin, Jonas LU ; Svensson, Glenn LU ; Tolasch, T and Francke, Wittko (2003) In Journal of Chemical Ecology 29(3). p.575-587
Abstract
Osmoderma eremita (Scopoli) is an endangered scarab beetle living in hollow trees. It has mainly been known for its characteristic odor, typically described as a fruity, peachlike or plumlike aroma. The odor emanating from a single beetle can sometimes be perceived from a distance of several meters. In this paper, we show that the characteristic odor from O. eremita is caused by the compound (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone, released in large quantities mainly or exclusively by male beetles. Antennae from male and female beetles responded in a similar way to (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone in electroantennographic recordings. Field trapping experiments showed that (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone is a pheromone attracting female beetles. Lactones... (More)
Osmoderma eremita (Scopoli) is an endangered scarab beetle living in hollow trees. It has mainly been known for its characteristic odor, typically described as a fruity, peachlike or plumlike aroma. The odor emanating from a single beetle can sometimes be perceived from a distance of several meters. In this paper, we show that the characteristic odor from O. eremita is caused by the compound (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone, released in large quantities mainly or exclusively by male beetles. Antennae from male and female beetles responded in a similar way to (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone in electroantennographic recordings. Field trapping experiments showed that (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone is a pheromone attracting female beetles. Lactones similar to (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone are frequently used as female-released sex pheromones by phytophagous scarabs. This is, however, the first evidence of a lactone used as a male-produced pheromone in scarab beetles. We propose that the strong signal from males is a sexually selected trait used to compete for females and matings. The signal could work within trees but also act as a guide to tree hollows, which are an essential resource for O. eremita. Males may, thus, attract females dispersing from their natal tree by advertising a suitable habitat. This signal could also be exploited by other males searching for tree hollows or for females, which would explain the catch of several males in our traps. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Chemical Ecology
volume
29
issue
3
pages
575 - 587
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • pmid:12757320
  • wos:000181624200005
  • scopus:0037360469
ISSN
1573-1561
DOI
10.1023/A:1022850704500
project
The PheroBio project (Pheromone monitoring of Biodiversity)
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
76b39e6a-5751-4b70-8d05-44dc321c1b87 (old id 135948)
date added to LUP
2007-06-27 10:39:03
date last changed
2018-01-07 09:32:43
@article{76b39e6a-5751-4b70-8d05-44dc321c1b87,
  abstract     = {<i>Osmoderma eremita</i> (Scopoli) is an endangered scarab beetle living in hollow trees. It has mainly been known for its characteristic odor, typically described as a fruity, peachlike or plumlike aroma. The odor emanating from a single beetle can sometimes be perceived from a distance of several meters. In this paper, we show that the characteristic odor from O. eremita is caused by the compound (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone, released in large quantities mainly or exclusively by male beetles. Antennae from male and female beetles responded in a similar way to (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone in electroantennographic recordings. Field trapping experiments showed that (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone is a pheromone attracting female beetles. Lactones similar to (R)-(C)-gamma-decalactone are frequently used as female-released sex pheromones by phytophagous scarabs. This is, however, the first evidence of a lactone used as a male-produced pheromone in scarab beetles. We propose that the strong signal from males is a sexually selected trait used to compete for females and matings. The signal could work within trees but also act as a guide to tree hollows, which are an essential resource for O. eremita. Males may, thus, attract females dispersing from their natal tree by advertising a suitable habitat. This signal could also be exploited by other males searching for tree hollows or for females, which would explain the catch of several males in our traps.},
  author       = {Larsson, Mattias C and Hedin, Jonas and Svensson, Glenn and Tolasch, T and Francke, Wittko},
  issn         = {1573-1561},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {575--587},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of Chemical Ecology},
  title        = {Characteristic odor of <i>Osmoderma eremita</i> identified as a male-released pheromone},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1022850704500},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2003},
}