Identification of a sex pheromone produced by sternal glands in females of the caddisfly Molanna angustata Curtis

Christer Löfstedt, Jan Bergmann, Wittko Francke, Erling Jirle, Bill S. Hansson, Vladimir D. Ivanov

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22 Scopus citations


In the caddisfly Molanna angustata, females produce a sex pheromone in glands with openings on the fifth sternite. Gas chromatographic analyses of pheromone gland extracts with electroantennographic detection revealed four major compounds that stimulated male antennae. These compounds were identified by means of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and enantioselective gas chromatography as heptan-2-one, (S)-heptan-2-ol, nonan-2-one, and (S)-nonan-2-ol in the approximate ratio of 1:1:4:10, respectively. Field tests showed that the mixture of the two alcohols was attractive to males whereas addition of the corresponding ketones reduced trap catches. The sex pheromone of M. angustata, a species in the family Molannidae within the suborder Integripalpia, is similar to the pheromones or pheromone-like compounds previously reported from six other trichopteran families, including members of the basal suborder Annulipalpia. This suggests that minimal evolutionary change of the pheromone chemistry has taken place within the leptoceroid branch of integripalpian Trichoptera compared to the ancestral character state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-228
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Heptan-2-ol
  • Heptan-2-one
  • Molanna angustata
  • Molannidae
  • Nonan-2-ol
  • Nonan-2-one
  • Sex pheromone
  • Trichoptera


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