The chemical ecology of sirex noctilio

Damon J. Crook, Katalin Böröczky, Kelley E. Zylstra, Victor C. Mastro, James Homer Tumlinson, III

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Scopus citations


The recent detection of an established Sirex noctilio F. (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) population in New York, USA highlighted an urgent need to develop a trapping system so that the wasp’s distribution and density can be monitored effectively. This review is of research that has been done on the insect’s biology and chemical ecology towards this goal. This includes detailed work on the volatile composition of pine trees and the antennal responses they elicit in S. noctilio. Despite the testing of several promising volatile blends, there is still no effective lure that is as attractive as a funnel trap placed on trees stressed by injection with a herbicide. The possibility of a pheromone attractant between the sexes has also been studied at both the morphological and chemical level. This work has led to the identification of three sex pheromone components, (Z)-7-heptacosene, (Z)-7-nonacosene and (Z)-9-nonacosene to which males respond at short range. There is currently no evidence that S. noctilio has a long-range sex pheromone. Behavioral cues for host and mate selection (olfactory, visual and/or auditory) clearly need to be investigated further if we are to develop a monitoring trap that is more effective than a chemically stressed “trap tree”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Sirex Woodwasp and its Fungal Symbiont
Subtitle of host publicationResearch and Management of a Worldwide Invasive Pest
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9789400719606
ISBN (Print)9789400719590
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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