Habituation of sexual response in male Heliothis moths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has been generally hypothesized that habituation mediates the effects of pheromone-based disruption strategies used in the management of moth pests. The current study demonstrates that pheromone-mediated sexual response in the tobacco budworm moth, Heliothis virescens (F.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), can in fact be modulated by conditions consistent with the production of habituation. An ethogram was used to measure response strength in a wind tunnel experiment where male moths were allowed to respond freely to one of two different blends of female pheromone in 16 trials over 4 days. Post-test measures were collected to investigate stimulus specificity and long-term effects. In conditions appropriate to the formation of habituation, habituation will develop and disrupt male sexual response to female sex pheromone. Males repeatedly exposed to plumes of synthetic pheromone blends display a habituated response lasting up to 96 h. Habituation rate and spontaneous recovery of response strength are greater with less intense stimuli. Additionally, males habituated to one blend express no habituation of sexual response when exposed to a different blend. This indicates a high degree of stimulus specificity, which could facilitate outbreeding, and that moths attend to the configuration of the pheromone blend, not simply to its elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-190
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Volume25
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

Fingerprint

Heliothis
habituation
Moths
Pheromones
moth
moths
pheromone
pheromones
pheromone blends
Sex Attractants
Heliothis virescens
outbreeding
Pest Control
Lepidoptera
wind tunnels
sex pheromones
Noctuidae
Tobacco
long term effects
sex pheromone

Keywords

  • Habituation
  • Heliothis virescens
  • Pheromone
  • Spontaneous recovery
  • Stimulus specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

Cite this

Habituation of sexual response in male Heliothis moths. / Figueredo, Aurelio J.

In: Physiological Entomology, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2000, p. 180-190.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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