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Plasticity in response to semiochemicals as part of a reproductive diapause syndrome in a long-lived moth, Caloptilia fraxinella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) Open Access


Other title
pheromone response plasticity
Wind Tunnel
juvenile hormone
Caloptilia fraxinella
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lemmen, Joelle K.
Supervisor and department
Evenden, Maya (Biological Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Fadamiro, Henry (Auburn University, AL, USA)
Keddie, Andrew (Biological Sciences)
Tierney, Keith (Biological Sciences)
Sturdy, Christopher (Psychology)
Evenden, Maya (Biological Sciences)
Department of Biological Sciences
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
In Lepidoptera that exhibit a delay in mating, response to semiochemicals associated with mating may be plastic, to optimize timing of reproductive events with appropriate environmental conditions. This thesis examines male response to female sex pheromone and male and female response to host plant volatiles in a long-lived adult moth, Caloptilia fraxinella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae). Adult C. fraxinella undergo a nine month period of reproductive inactivity from eclosion in July until the following spring when adults emerge from overwintering locations in a reproductively active state. Male response to female sex pheromone is highest when moths are reproductively active. In Chapters 2 and 3, I investigate exogenous and endogenous mechanisms that impact male pheromone response plasticity. When males are in reproductive diapause, long day/warm conditions terminate, while short day and cool conditions or a natural declining photoperiod maintain diapause. The juvenile hormone analogues (JHA) methoprene and pyriproxyfen similarly enhance male antennal and behavioural response to pheromone in the fall. In the most recent experiments, JHA treatment impacts pheromone response earlier in the summer, indicating a possible physiological change in the tested population of moths. Chapter 4 tests whether males and females exhibit plasticity in response to host plant volatiles that depends on physiological state. Male behavioural response to pheromone is not enhanced by the presence of an ash seedling. Male and female antennal response to individual ash tree volatiles is plastic, and response to the volatiles is highest when moths are reproductively active. JHA treatment enhances male and female antennal responses to host volatiles during reproductive diapause, and impacts males and females differently. Chapter 5 confirms that males are in a state of reproductive diapause in the summer and fall with shorter sex accessory glands compared to reproductively active males in the spring. JHA treatment enhances the protein content of male sex accessory glands in the fall. The main proteins present in male sex accessory glands are identified. The plasticity of response to semiochemicals documented here in C. fraxinella depends on physiological state, and is mediated by environmental conditions and JH in males, and JH and nutrition in females.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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