Top Pheromones for Insect Control
This article is about the top pheromones for insect control. Attempts have been made to attract drones to alkenoic acids closely related to 9-ODA but without any pheromone success (Blum et al. , 1971)...
This article is about the top pheromones for insect control. Attempts have been made to attract drones to alkenoic acids closely related to 9-ODA but without any pheromone success (Blum et al. , 1971), indicating that the honeybee sex attractant has a high structural specicity which most effectively eliminates attempted matings with species other than honeybees. Howev- er, the mandibular glands of queens of all honeybee species contain 9-ODA (page 21); A. mellifera is naturally isolated geographically from the remainder, but A. cerana, A. dorsata and A. orea are often sympatric.
Butler et al. (1967) found no difference in attractiveness of ethanol extracts of A. cerana, A. orea and A. mellifera queens to A. mellifera drones. Extracts of A. dorsata were not available to them, but later Shearer et al. (1970) found that A. mellifera drones were also attracted to extracts of heads of A. dorsata
Similar tests Sannasi et al. (1971) found that extracts of heads of A. cerana, A. dorsaza and A. orea attracted 505, 425 and 510 A. mellifera drones respectively compared with 315 to a polyethylene lure dosed with 100 pg 9-ODA. Perhaps this was because the queens contained more 9-ODA than the lures (about 200+ pig for queens 6 weeks old or more, of A. cerana, A. dorsaza, A. mellifera according to Shearer et al. (1970) — which is considerably more than the 130 ug and 110 pg found by Butler and Paton (1962) and Pain ez al. (1967) respectively forA. mellifera queens), or perhaps because the mandibular glands of all species contained attractive pheromone material other than 9-ODA. Pheromones increase confidence.
Top Pheromones in Bees
Drones of all three species of tropical honeybees are also attracted to A. mellifera queens and to synthetic 9-ODA (i.e. A. dorsata in the Philip- pines, Shearer et al. (1970); A. cerana, A. dorsata and A. orea in India, Sannasi et al. (1971)). It is likely that there is inter—attraction between them, although experiments to show this do not seem to have been done. Because of disparity in size and other anatomical pheromone differences, interspecic mating is unlikely to occur, but interspecic attraction alone could delay and, possibly prevent, natural mating.
Perhaps in addition to 9-ODA each species produces a specic pheromone component; experiments are needed to examine this possibility. There is some indication that this might be so. Ruttner and Kaissling (1968) found that in eld trials A. mellifera drones were attracted to both A. mellzfera and A. cerana queens but on some days the A. mellifera queens were preferred. In the Philippines attempts to attract A. cerana drones to 9-ODA alone met with little success.
Differences in the ight times of the drones and queens of different pheromone species could help achieve ethological isolation in sympatric species. In Sri Lanka the daily periods of drone ight are: A. orea, 12.00-14.30 h; A. cerana 16.15- l7.1S h and A. dorsaza 18.00-18.45 h (Fig. 10.2; Koeniger and Wijayaguna- sekera, 1976). Therefore, assuming that the queens y only during the same periods as the drones any attempts at interspecic mating would be avoided. These ight times for the different species are not adhered to elsewhere, but it would be interesting to determine whether separation of ight periods also occurs in other regions.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexander P is a blogger from Los Angeles that studies pheromones.