Synthesis and Field Tests of Possible Minor Components of the Sex Pheromone of Prionus californicus

Elin C. Maki, Joshua Rodstein, Jocelyn G. Millar, Karen S. Barbour, Lawrence M. Hanks, James D. Barbour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Earlier work has shown that adult male Prionus californicus Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) are attracted to the female-produced compound (3R,5S)-3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid, and to a synthetic mixture of the four stereoisomers of 3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid. Here, we report the results of field trials that tested whether or not three structurally related compounds (methyl 3,5-dimethyldodecanoate, 3,5-dimethyltridecanoic acid, and 3,5-dimethylpentadecanoic acid), present in extracts of virgin females, are attractive, and whether or not they influence attraction to 3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid. In a trial with single components, only traps baited with the acid or its methyl ester captured more beetles than did control traps; catches to the acid were five times higher than to the methyl ester. Another trial, excluding 3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid, confirmed the activity of the methyl ester. Finally, addition of the three compounds to 3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid, in the ratio found in extracts from female beetles, gave a catch similar to that of traps baited with 3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid alone. Consequently, the function of these minor compounds remains undetermined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-716
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • (3R,5S)-3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid
  • Cerambycidae
  • Coleoptera
  • Pest management
  • Pheromone
  • Prioninae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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