Date of this Version
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology Online Masters Program Final Project. Lincoln, Nebraska.
Insects of many species depend on the chemical cues in sex pheromones to identify potential reproductive partners. Previous studies have shown that odd beetle, Thylodrias contractus utilize sex pheromones at the onset of reproductive physiology that leads to mating behavior. This is a study to make strides to identify the sex pheromone(s) for the odd beetle, T. contractus. In this study, efforts to isolate the sex pheromone of this pest insect began with observations of the mating behavior of this insect. This was followed by dissections of adult virgin females in an attempt to reveal which parts of the anatomy were producing the pheromone. In addition, several sampling methods were used to help identify this pheromone on a Gas Chromatograph. These methods included blowing filtered-air across live beetles onto an absorbent column, solvent washes of adult beetles and a sampling technique using solid phase microextraction (SPME) on live insects. Finally, an analysis of the headspace above live adult virgin females using a Gas Chromatograph/ Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) was made. Comparison of the Gas Chromatograph results and the results of the GC-MS has narrowed the possibilities of what compounds may be included in the female attractant pheromone.