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α-Farnesene, a Natural Attractant for Codling Moth Larvae


THE skin of the apple cultivar ‘Sturmer Pippin’ contains one or more chloroform-soluble volatile substances which are highly attractive to newly hatched codling moth (Laspeyresia pomonella) larvae1 . There is now evidence that the factor inducing this olfactory response is the acyclic sesquiterpene α-farnesene (Fig. 1), a compound present in the natural coating of ‘Sturmer’ as well as several other apple and pear varieties2–4. This hydrocarbon has also been isolated from the Dufour's gland of at least two5,6 and possibly more7 species of ant and Blum8 has speculated that it may have a role as a pheromone in these insects.


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SUTHERLAND, O., HUTCHINS, R. α-Farnesene, a Natural Attractant for Codling Moth Larvae. Nature 239, 170 (1972).

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