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Individual Variation in Bark Beetle and Moth Pheromones: A Comparison and an Evolutionary Background
Fredrik Schlyter and Göran Birgersson
Vol. 12, No. 4 (Dec., 1989), pp. 457-465
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3682056
Page Count: 9
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The presently published data of variation in pheromone content in bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) and moths (Lepidoptera) are reviewed. In both taxa high coefficients of variation, often up to around 100% for amount of pheromone, seem to be the rule. The contribution to the variation from errors in the chemical methods was small in most studies compared with the intrinsic biological variation. Examples are given of variation in both absolute amounts, proportions of geometric isomers and in enantiomeric composition. Ratios of isomers often had lower coefficients of variation (25% or less). A lower average variation among sex pheromone in moths could relate to a mating system involving singly calling females, compared with the aggregation pheromone of bark beetles, which often call in large groups. The origin of a resource-based aggregation pheromone system by evolution working via individual selection is outlined.
Holarctic Ecology © 1989 Nordic Society Oikos