Identification of sex pheromone of calendula plume moth Platyptilia williamsii

K. F. Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The sex pheromone of the calendula plume moth, Platyptilia williamsii was identified as (Z)-11-hexadecenal (Z11-16:Aid). Extracts of female sex pheromone glands contained several compounds when analyzed by capillary and packed-column GLC. However, airborne collections of volatiles from glands contained only one of these compounds, having the same retention time as Z11-16:Ald. GC-MS and microozonolysis analyses of the natural product were consistent with those of synthetic Z11-16:Ald. In a flight tunnel, males oriented upwind and touched sources of Z11-16:Ald and gland extract with equal frequency. Field tests of synthetic Z11-16:Ald already have shown it to be a potent sex attractant for males of this species. This study further supports the hypothesis that P. williamsii and a sympatric species, Platyptilia carduidactyla, are not reproductively isolated by chemical differences in the composition of the sex pheromone, but rather by temporal differences in sexual activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-916
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1987


  • (Z)-11-hexadecenal
  • Lepidoptera
  • Platyptilia williamsii
  • Pterophoridae
  • calendula plume moth
  • insect behavior
  • insect pheromones
  • reproductive isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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