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Enantiomeric conservation of the male-produced sex pheromone facilitates monitoring of threatened European hermit beetles (Osmoderma spp.)

Svensson, Glenn LU ; Oleksa, Andrzej; Gawronski, Robert; Lassance, Jean-Marc LU and Larsson, Mattias C. (2009) In Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 133(3). p.276-282
Abstract
Hermit beetles of the genus Osmoderma (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae) are known for their fruity odour, which is released in large amounts by males. Two species of the genus occur in Europe, the eastern Osmoderma barnabita (Motschulsky) and the western Osmoderma eremita (Scopoli). Previous studies on Swedish populations of O. eremita showed that the compound responsible for the characteristic scent, gamma-decalactone, functions as a sex pheromone for the attraction of conspecific females. Male O. eremita only release the (R)-enantiomer of the lactone, and both sexes are anosmic to the opposite enantiomer. As the distribution areas of the two hermit beetle species partly overlap, it may be expected that they use different... (More)
Hermit beetles of the genus Osmoderma (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae) are known for their fruity odour, which is released in large amounts by males. Two species of the genus occur in Europe, the eastern Osmoderma barnabita (Motschulsky) and the western Osmoderma eremita (Scopoli). Previous studies on Swedish populations of O. eremita showed that the compound responsible for the characteristic scent, gamma-decalactone, functions as a sex pheromone for the attraction of conspecific females. Male O. eremita only release the (R)-enantiomer of the lactone, and both sexes are anosmic to the opposite enantiomer. As the distribution areas of the two hermit beetle species partly overlap, it may be expected that they use different enantiomeric compositions of gamma-decalactone as pheromones to promote species discrimination. This paper reports on the identification of the sex pheromone of O. barnabita. Surprisingly, males from a Polish population produce only the (R)-enantiomer of gamma-decalactone, and conspecific females show equal attraction to the (R)-enantiomer and a racemic mixture of the compound, indicating that O. barnabita is anosmic to the (S)-enantiomer, similarly to what was observed for O. eremita. A mtDNA sequence analysis of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of Polish and Swedish beetles confirmed their taxonomical status as O. barnabita and O. eremita, respectively, with an average sequence divergence of 10.5% between beetles from the two studied areas. Although genetic data suggest that these species diverged several million years ago, they still rely on the same enantiomer of gamma-decalactone for mate finding. Thus, the male-produced pheromone in Osmoderma spp. may be regarded as a territorial signal being exploited by females, rather than a cue for determining species identity. Our data show that the same compound can be used to facilitate monitoring of both beetle species, which are considered indicator species of the species-rich fauna of saproxylic insects in Europe. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Scarabaeidae, Coleoptera, gamma-decalactone, mtDNA analysis, chiral GC, field trapping
in
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
volume
133
issue
3
pages
276 - 282
publisher
Kluwer
external identifiers
  • wos:000271779300007
  • scopus:73149113319
ISSN
1570-7458
DOI
10.1111/j.1570-7458.2009.00923.x
project
The PheroBio project (Pheromone monitoring of Biodiversity)
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e2313018-7798-4788-972e-6e687124086a (old id 1519507)
date added to LUP
2009-12-28 12:13:07
date last changed
2017-08-20 03:56:45
@article{e2313018-7798-4788-972e-6e687124086a,
  abstract     = {Hermit beetles of the genus Osmoderma (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae) are known for their fruity odour, which is released in large amounts by males. Two species of the genus occur in Europe, the eastern Osmoderma barnabita (Motschulsky) and the western Osmoderma eremita (Scopoli). Previous studies on Swedish populations of O. eremita showed that the compound responsible for the characteristic scent, gamma-decalactone, functions as a sex pheromone for the attraction of conspecific females. Male O. eremita only release the (R)-enantiomer of the lactone, and both sexes are anosmic to the opposite enantiomer. As the distribution areas of the two hermit beetle species partly overlap, it may be expected that they use different enantiomeric compositions of gamma-decalactone as pheromones to promote species discrimination. This paper reports on the identification of the sex pheromone of O. barnabita. Surprisingly, males from a Polish population produce only the (R)-enantiomer of gamma-decalactone, and conspecific females show equal attraction to the (R)-enantiomer and a racemic mixture of the compound, indicating that O. barnabita is anosmic to the (S)-enantiomer, similarly to what was observed for O. eremita. A mtDNA sequence analysis of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of Polish and Swedish beetles confirmed their taxonomical status as O. barnabita and O. eremita, respectively, with an average sequence divergence of 10.5% between beetles from the two studied areas. Although genetic data suggest that these species diverged several million years ago, they still rely on the same enantiomer of gamma-decalactone for mate finding. Thus, the male-produced pheromone in Osmoderma spp. may be regarded as a territorial signal being exploited by females, rather than a cue for determining species identity. Our data show that the same compound can be used to facilitate monitoring of both beetle species, which are considered indicator species of the species-rich fauna of saproxylic insects in Europe.},
  author       = {Svensson, Glenn and Oleksa, Andrzej and Gawronski, Robert and Lassance, Jean-Marc and Larsson, Mattias C.},
  issn         = {1570-7458},
  keyword      = {Scarabaeidae,Coleoptera,gamma-decalactone,mtDNA analysis,chiral GC,field trapping},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {276--282},
  publisher    = {Kluwer},
  series       = {Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata},
  title        = {Enantiomeric conservation of the male-produced sex pheromone facilitates monitoring of threatened European hermit beetles (<i>Osmoderma</i> spp.)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2009.00923.x},
  volume       = {133},
  year         = {2009},
}