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Insects 2014, 5(3), 639-650; doi:10.3390/insects5030639

Pheromonal Communication in the European House Dust Mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus

1
Institut für Zoologie, Fachgebiet Tierökologie 220c, Universität Hohenheim, Garbenstr. 30, Stuttgart 70593, Germany
2
Institut für Organische Chemie, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Hagenring 30, Braunschweig 38106, Germany
3
Castello fine arts GmbH, Fachbereich Material und Umweltanalytik, Rechberghäuser Weg 11 Göppingen, Baden-Württemberg 73035, Germany
4
Pestalozzistr. 11, Bretzfeld-Rappach 74626, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 April 2014 / Revised: 18 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 8 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pheromones and Insect Behaviour)
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Abstract

Despite the sanitary importance of the European house dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Trouessart, 1897), the pheromonal communication in this species has not been sufficiently studied. Headspace analysis using solid phase micro extraction (SPME) revealed that nerol, neryl formate, pentadecane, (6Z,9Z)-6,9-heptadecadiene, and (Z)-8-heptadecene are released by both sexes whereas neryl propionate was released by males only. Tritonymphs did not produce any detectable volatiles. In olfactometer experiments, pentadecane and neryl propionate were attractive to both sexes as well as to tritonymphs. (Z)-8-heptadecene was only attractive to male mites. Therefore it is discussed that pentadecane and neryl propionate are aggregation pheromones and (Z)-8-heptadecene is a sexual pheromone of the European house dust mite D. pteronyssinus. To study the potential use of pheromones in dust mite control, long-range olfactometer experiments were conducted showing that mites can be attracted to neryl propionate over distances of at least 50 cm. This indicates that mite pheromones might be useable to monitor the presence or absence of mites in the context of control strategies.
Keywords: chemical communication; aggregation pheromones; sexual pheromones; alarm pheromones; tritonymphs; house dust mite pest control chemical communication; aggregation pheromones; sexual pheromones; alarm pheromones; tritonymphs; house dust mite pest control
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Steidle, J.L.; Barcari, E.; Hradecky, M.; Trefz, S.; Tolasch, T.; Gantert, C.; Schulz, S. Pheromonal Communication in the European House Dust Mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus. Insects 2014, 5, 639-650.

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