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Ciencia e investigación agraria

On-line version ISSN 0718-1620


CURKOVIC, Tomislav  and  FERRERA, Catalina. Female calling and male flight orientation and searching behaviors in Callisphyris apicicornis: evidence for a female-produced sex attractant pheromone. Cienc. Inv. Agr. [online]. 2012, vol.39, n.1, pp.147-158. ISSN 0718-1620.

Callisphyris apicicornis is a fruit pest of increasing concern in Chile. To aid in the identification of its sex pheromone for use in the management of this insect, "calling" (pheromone release) of females and "orientation and searching" behaviors of males to calling females were video recorded. Light intensity, wind speed, temperature, time of the day, and the frequency of individuals performing each step within both behavioral sequences were recorded as well. Drawings of the behavioral steps and ethograms (routes and returns) are also provided, including transition frequencies between behavioral steps. The calling behavior of females included diagnostic movements of the abdomen, legs, elytra, and wings, showing similarities to the descriptions of other cerambycid species in which females call. The orientation and searching behavior of males included zigzagging flights (characteristic steps observed in insects responding to airborne pheromone plumes) and landing on and searching for females in cages. Females called and males responded mainly between 9 AM and 1 PM. Both behaviors were performed in a non-random fashion and were stereotyped. Calling behavior was significantly affected by light (apparently triggering the behavior) but not by wind speed, ambient temperature, or female age. Males tended to respond most strongly to younger females, although these called significantly less frequently than older ones. These results strongly support the existence of a female-produced sex pheromone in C. apicicornis and provide the background information to aid in attempts of pheromone collection and identification. Male behavior characterization also provides a base-line to compare with tests to evaluate the activity of putative pheromones for this species. This study is one of the first reports of a cerambycid species in which the female calls and the male consequently responds to her and the first one on the characterization of the calling and oriented searching behaviors for a Necydalinae.

Keywords : Cerambycidae; Insect age; light intensity; pheromone; sexual behavior.

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