Evidence for divergence in cuticular hydrocarbon sex pheromone between California and Mississippi (United States of America) populations of bark beetle parasitoid Roptrocerus xylophagorum (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).
Roptrocerus xylophagorum (Ratzeburg) (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) is a common Holarctic parasitoid of the larvae and pupae of bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scotytinae). In no-choice laboratory bioassays, we found that male wasps derived either from northern California or southwestern Mississippi, United States of America more frequently displayed sexual behaviours (including mounting, wing fanning, and copulation attempts) to glass bulb decoys treated with hexane cuticular washes of females derived from the same parasitoid population rather than the distant population. This result suggests that the composition of the cuticular hydrocarbon sex pheromone has diverged between eastern and western populations and is consistent with previous data indicating that R. xylophagorum may consist of more than one species.
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