Phenol − Another Cockchafer Attractant Shared by Melolontha hippocastani Fabr. and M. melolontha L.

Joachim Ruther 1 , Andreas Reinecke 1 , Till Tolasch 2 ,  and Monika Hilker 3
  • 1 Institut für Biologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Haderslebener Str. 9, D-12163 Berlin, Germany
  • 2 Institut für Organische Chemie, Universität Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 6, D-20146 Hamburg
  • 3 Institut für Organische Chemie, Universität Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 6, D- 20146 Hamburg

The response of the two most abundant cockchafer species in central Europe, Melolontha hippocastani and M. melolontha, towards phenol, mixtures of phenol with the leaf alcohol (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol and the known cockchafer pheromones, 1,4-benzoquinone (M. hippocastani) and toluquinone (M. melolontha), was investigated in the field. During the swarming period at dusk, phenol attracted males of both species, and enhanced the known attraction of cockchafer males towards (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol. A mixture of phenol plus (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol was less attractive for M. hippocastani males than a mixture of (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol plus 1,4- benzoquinone, whereas phenol plus (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol attracted as many M. melolontha males as a mixture of (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol plus toluquinone. In both species three component mixtures containing phenol, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, and the respective benzoquinone did not capture more males than two component mixtures consisting of only (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol and the benzoquinone. A possible role of phenol as another cockchafer sex pheromone component is discussed.

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A Journal of Biosciences: Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C (ZNC) is an international scientific journal for the emerging field of natural and natural-like products. ZNC publishes original research on the isolation, bio-chemical synthesis and bioactivities of natural products, their biochemistry, pharmacology, biotechnology, and biological activity and innovative developed computational methods for predicting their structure and/or function.