Novel, male-produced aggregation pheromone of the cerambycid beetle Rosalia alpina, a priority species of European conservation concern
Žunič Kosi, A.; Zou, Y.; Hoskovec, M.; Vrezec, A.; Stritih, N.ša.; Millar, J.G.
Plos one 12(8): E0183279
ISSN/ISBN: 1932-6203 PMID: 28827817 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183279
Several recent studies have demonstrated the great potential for exploiting semiochemicals in ecology and conservation studies. The cerambycid beetle Rosalia alpina represents one of the flagship species of saproxylic insect biodiversity in Europe. In recent years its populations appear to have declined substantially, and its range has shrunk considerably as a result of forest management and urbanization. Here, we collected volatile chemicals released by males and females of R. alpina. Analyses of the resulting extracts revealed the presence of a single male-specific compound, identified as a novel alkylated pyrone structure. In field bioassays in Slovenia, traps baited with the synthesized pyrone captured both sexes of R. alpina, indicating that the pyrone functions as an aggregation pheromone. Our results represent the first example of a new structural class of pheromones within the Cerambycidae, and demonstrate that pheromone-baited traps can provide a useful tool for sampling R. alpina. This tool could be particularly useful in the ongoing development of conservation strategies for the iconic but endangered Alpine longicorn.