Opposing Effects of Host Monoterpenes on Responses by Two Sympatric Species of Bark Beetles to Their Aggregation Pheromones

Research paper by Nadir Erbilgin, Kenneth F. Raffa

Indexed on: 01 Nov '00Published on: 01 Nov '00Published in: Journal of Chemical Ecology


The effects of host tree monoterpenes on primary and secondary attraction of the bark beetles, Ips pini and Ips grandicollis, and their associated phloeophagous insects were investigated. Monoterpenes alone were not attractive to I. pini. However, monoterpenes mediated the attraction of I. pini to its aggregation pheromones. With the exception of 3–carene, the effect of monoterpenes on I. pini's response to its pheromone, ipsdienol plus lanierone, was inhibitory. In contrast, (−)-α-pinene both attracted I. grandicollis and enhanced the attraction of I. grandicollis to its pheromone, ipsenol. No monoterpene inhibited the response of I. grandicollis to its pheromone. The inhibitory effect of host monoterpenes on I. pini response to its aggregation pheromone differs from previous work, in which monoterpenes either synergized responses or had no effect. In addition to possible geographic differences, the concentrations used in our study simulated trees that had begun to respond to attack, whereas previous studies deployed lower concentrations, which simulated constitutive phloem from unattacked trees. These results support the view that trees that undergo induced responses to bark beetles sometimes inhibit attraction of additional beetles, despite the beetles' production of aggregation pheromones. Neither species displayed cross-attraction to the pheromone of the other. The red turpentine beetle, Dendroctonus valens, showed weak and consistent attraction to (+)-α-pinene and in some cases to (−)-α-pinene. Attraction to (−)-α-pinene was usually enhanced by Ips spp. pheromones. The absence of strong attraction to (+)-α-pinene and partial attraction to (−)-α-pinene suggest that the effects of different stereoisomers of α-pinene on D. valens vary throughout its geographical range. Hylastes porculus was also attracted to some monoterpenes, particularly (−)-α-pinene. An additional 10 species of phloeophagous insects were caught in response to monoterpenes and/or pheromones, including the pine root weevils, Hylobius pales and Pachylobius picivorus, and the longhorned beetle, Monochamus carolinensis.