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Application of pheromone lures to study mechanisms of reproductive isolation and to develop cost-efficient population assessments of click beetles in North America

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.P.M.
Date created
I tested the effects of synthetic (E)-4-ethyloct-4-enoic acid ('limoniic acid'; sex pheromone component of the click beetles Limonius canus and L. californicus) and of (E)-5-ethyloct-4-enoic acid (analog of limoniic acid) as trap lures on captures of L. canus, L. californicus, L. infuscatus and L. agonus across North America. Males of all four species were attracted to both limoniic acid and the analog irrespective of lure dose (0.4 or 4 mg). Exploring mechanisms that underlie species-specificity of sexual communication in Limonius congeners, I discovered that L. canus and L. californicus have seasonally distinct communication periods but that captures of L. infuscatus overlap with those of L. canus and L. californicus. Investigating whether mixed pheromone lures attract elaterid heterogeners (Agriotes spp. and Limonius spp.), I found that mixed lures did not reduce captures of target species, suggesting that these lures can be used to effectively monitor, or possibly control, select elaterid heterogeners.
86 pages.
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Thesis advisor: Gries, Gerhard
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