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Circadian mating activity and effect of pheromone pre-exposure on pheromone response rhythms in the moth Spodoptera littoralis

Publiceringsår: 2005
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 277-286
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Insect Physiology
Volym: 51
Nummer: 3
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Elsevier Ltd


Mating in moths is generally mediated by female-produced sex pheromones. Mating activity, female pheromone production/ release and male pheromone responsiveness all show diurnal variations in many species. We found that the response of the male Egyptian cotton leafworm, Spodoptera littoralis, to sex pheromone gland extracts showed a diel rhythm in olfactometer tests, and the variation was persistent for at least 1 day in constant darkness. High male response to sex pheromone was correlated in time with high mating and locomotor activity. Male S. littoralis, maintained in constant darkness and exposed to pheromone gland extracts on a daily basis, showed an induced temporal variation in response after several days, in contrast to unexposed males. This suggests that in the absence of other external zeitgebers, exposure to sex pheromone may function to synchronise circadian behavioural rhythms in male moths. The daily rhythm in mating activity in S. littoralis is also shown to be persistent for at least 2 days in constant darkness. Pairs mated significantly less when either the male or female had been raised in a light:dark cycle 10h out of phase, indicating that the proposed circadian rhythm in mating activity is composed of rhythmic mating preference/ability in both sexes. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Zoology
  • Biological Sciences


  • Pheromone Group
  • ISSN: 1879-1611

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