Males of the longhorned beetle Prionus californicus Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) are significantly attracted to the female-produced sex pheromone (3R,5S)-3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid. Males respond equally well to the synthetic blend of the four stereoisomers of 3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid as to the single natural enantiomer, suggesting that the unnatural isomers are not inhibitory. Males of the congener Prionus lecontei Lameere also are attracted to the (3R,5S)-enantiomer but not to the (3S,5R)-enantiomer, suggesting that the (3R,5S)-enantiomer is also an important pheromone component of that species. Here, we report the results of field trials that test the hypothesis that synthetic 3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid will serve as a general attractant for males of other Prionus species. We conducted field bioassays of synthetic 3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid at study sites in six different regions of North America and one site in the United Kingdom. Traps baited with the synthetic pheromone blend captured males of P. californicus (southwestern Idaho, southern California, and northwestern Utah), P. lecontei (southern California and northwestern Utah), and six additional species of Prionus: Prionus integer LeConte (southwestern Idaho), Prionus imbricornis (L.) (Georgia), Prionus laticollis (Drury) (Georgia), Prionus linsleyi Hovore (north central Arizona), Prionus aztecus Casey (northern Mexico), and Prionus coriarius (L.) (East Anglia, United Kingdom). These findings demonstrate that synthetic 3,5-dimethyldodecanoic acid can be used to assess the geographic distribution and local abundance of many Prionus species and therefore may be of value for monitoring threatened and endangered species of this genus, and for managing those that are pests.
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Vol. 104 • No. 3