Abstract

Irradiated automobile exhaust fumes and their components were tested as an attractant for the lovebug, Plecia nearctica Hardy. Of the five different aldehydes tested, formaldehyde and heptaldehyde were the two most attractive. Formaldehyde is the abundant aldehyde in the fumes of diesel exhaust and is probably the single most important attractant. A generalized description is given of the female antennae. Three different types of sensillum (spine) match the 1–2-wavelength criteria for an open-resonator dielectric antenna, as given by Kiely. A nonlinear IR spectrum obtained by blowing saturated formaldehyde air through a punch-hole scatter antenna is given. The 10.93-, 22.73-, 26.88-, 32.79-, and 42.19-μm maserlike lines match the predicted wavelength resonant modes for the three sensilla. This is considered direct evidence for a man-generated wavelength mimic of a natural attractant and also direct evidence of the validity of Callahan's dielectric waveguide–nonlinear molecular (maserlike) emission theory of the insect communication system.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. L. L. Buschman, “Invasion of Florida by the ‘Lovebug’ Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae),” Fla. Entomol. 59, 191 (1976).
    [CrossRef]
  2. P. S. Callahan, “Nonlinear IR Resonance in a Biological System,” Appl. Opt. 20, 3827 (1981).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. P. S. Callahan, H. A. Denmark, “The ‘Lovebug’ Phenomenon,” in Tall Timbers Conference on Ecological Animal Control. Vol. 5 (1974), p. 93.
  4. P. S. Callahan, H. A. Denmark, “Attraction of the ‘Lovebug’ Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae), to UV Irradiated Automobile Exhaust Fumes,” Fla. Entomol. 56, 113 (1973).
    [CrossRef]
  5. P. S. Callahan, “Moth and Candle: The Candle Flame as a Sexual Mimic of the Coded Infrared Wavelengths from a Moth Sex Scent (Pheromone),” Appl. Opt. 16, 3089 (1977).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. R. D. Cadle, E. R. Allen, “Atmospheric Photochemistry,” Science 167, 243 (1970).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. J. L. Sharp, N. C. Leppla, D. R. Bennet, W. K. Turner, E. W. Hamilton, “Flight Ability of Plecia nearctica in the Laboratory,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 67, 735 (1974).
  8. D. G. Kiely, Dielectric Aerials (Methuen, London, 1953).
  9. P. S. Callahan, “Insect Antenna with Special Reference to the Mechanism of Scent Detection and the Evolution of the Sensilla,” Int. J. Insect Morphol. Embryol. 4, 381 (1975).
    [CrossRef]
  10. P. S. Callahan, “Oviposition Response of the Imago of the Corn Earworm, Heliothis zea (Boddie), to Various Wavelengths of Light,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 50, 444 (1957).
  11. P. S. Callahan, The Soul of the Ghost Moth (The Devin-Adair Co., Old Greenwich, Conn., 1981).
  12. J. W. Snow, P. S. Callahan, “Laboratory Mating Studies of the Corn Earworm, Heliothis zea, (Lepidoptea: Noctuidae),” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 60, 1066 (1967).
  13. C. L. Mangum, P. S. Callahan, “Attraction of Near-Infrared Radiation to Aedes aegypti,” J. Econ. Entomol. 61, 36 (1968).
    [PubMed]
  14. G. Eisenstein, D. Vitello, “Chemically Etched Conical Microlenses for Coupling Single-Mode Lasers into Single-Mode Fibers,” Appl. Opt. 21, 3470 (1982).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. P. S. Callahan, in Insect Behavior, J. R. Matthews, R. W. Matthews, Eds. (Westview Press, Boulder, Colo, 1982), p. 217.

1982 (1)

1981 (1)

1977 (1)

1976 (1)

L. L. Buschman, “Invasion of Florida by the ‘Lovebug’ Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae),” Fla. Entomol. 59, 191 (1976).
[CrossRef]

1975 (1)

P. S. Callahan, “Insect Antenna with Special Reference to the Mechanism of Scent Detection and the Evolution of the Sensilla,” Int. J. Insect Morphol. Embryol. 4, 381 (1975).
[CrossRef]

1974 (2)

J. L. Sharp, N. C. Leppla, D. R. Bennet, W. K. Turner, E. W. Hamilton, “Flight Ability of Plecia nearctica in the Laboratory,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 67, 735 (1974).

P. S. Callahan, H. A. Denmark, “The ‘Lovebug’ Phenomenon,” in Tall Timbers Conference on Ecological Animal Control. Vol. 5 (1974), p. 93.

1973 (1)

P. S. Callahan, H. A. Denmark, “Attraction of the ‘Lovebug’ Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae), to UV Irradiated Automobile Exhaust Fumes,” Fla. Entomol. 56, 113 (1973).
[CrossRef]

1970 (1)

R. D. Cadle, E. R. Allen, “Atmospheric Photochemistry,” Science 167, 243 (1970).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1968 (1)

C. L. Mangum, P. S. Callahan, “Attraction of Near-Infrared Radiation to Aedes aegypti,” J. Econ. Entomol. 61, 36 (1968).
[PubMed]

1967 (1)

J. W. Snow, P. S. Callahan, “Laboratory Mating Studies of the Corn Earworm, Heliothis zea, (Lepidoptea: Noctuidae),” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 60, 1066 (1967).

1957 (1)

P. S. Callahan, “Oviposition Response of the Imago of the Corn Earworm, Heliothis zea (Boddie), to Various Wavelengths of Light,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 50, 444 (1957).

Allen, E. R.

R. D. Cadle, E. R. Allen, “Atmospheric Photochemistry,” Science 167, 243 (1970).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bennet, D. R.

J. L. Sharp, N. C. Leppla, D. R. Bennet, W. K. Turner, E. W. Hamilton, “Flight Ability of Plecia nearctica in the Laboratory,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 67, 735 (1974).

Buschman, L. L.

L. L. Buschman, “Invasion of Florida by the ‘Lovebug’ Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae),” Fla. Entomol. 59, 191 (1976).
[CrossRef]

Cadle, R. D.

R. D. Cadle, E. R. Allen, “Atmospheric Photochemistry,” Science 167, 243 (1970).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Callahan, P. S.

P. S. Callahan, “Nonlinear IR Resonance in a Biological System,” Appl. Opt. 20, 3827 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

P. S. Callahan, “Moth and Candle: The Candle Flame as a Sexual Mimic of the Coded Infrared Wavelengths from a Moth Sex Scent (Pheromone),” Appl. Opt. 16, 3089 (1977).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

P. S. Callahan, “Insect Antenna with Special Reference to the Mechanism of Scent Detection and the Evolution of the Sensilla,” Int. J. Insect Morphol. Embryol. 4, 381 (1975).
[CrossRef]

P. S. Callahan, H. A. Denmark, “The ‘Lovebug’ Phenomenon,” in Tall Timbers Conference on Ecological Animal Control. Vol. 5 (1974), p. 93.

P. S. Callahan, H. A. Denmark, “Attraction of the ‘Lovebug’ Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae), to UV Irradiated Automobile Exhaust Fumes,” Fla. Entomol. 56, 113 (1973).
[CrossRef]

C. L. Mangum, P. S. Callahan, “Attraction of Near-Infrared Radiation to Aedes aegypti,” J. Econ. Entomol. 61, 36 (1968).
[PubMed]

J. W. Snow, P. S. Callahan, “Laboratory Mating Studies of the Corn Earworm, Heliothis zea, (Lepidoptea: Noctuidae),” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 60, 1066 (1967).

P. S. Callahan, “Oviposition Response of the Imago of the Corn Earworm, Heliothis zea (Boddie), to Various Wavelengths of Light,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 50, 444 (1957).

P. S. Callahan, The Soul of the Ghost Moth (The Devin-Adair Co., Old Greenwich, Conn., 1981).

P. S. Callahan, in Insect Behavior, J. R. Matthews, R. W. Matthews, Eds. (Westview Press, Boulder, Colo, 1982), p. 217.

Denmark, H. A.

P. S. Callahan, H. A. Denmark, “The ‘Lovebug’ Phenomenon,” in Tall Timbers Conference on Ecological Animal Control. Vol. 5 (1974), p. 93.

P. S. Callahan, H. A. Denmark, “Attraction of the ‘Lovebug’ Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae), to UV Irradiated Automobile Exhaust Fumes,” Fla. Entomol. 56, 113 (1973).
[CrossRef]

Eisenstein, G.

Hamilton, E. W.

J. L. Sharp, N. C. Leppla, D. R. Bennet, W. K. Turner, E. W. Hamilton, “Flight Ability of Plecia nearctica in the Laboratory,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 67, 735 (1974).

Kiely, D. G.

D. G. Kiely, Dielectric Aerials (Methuen, London, 1953).

Leppla, N. C.

J. L. Sharp, N. C. Leppla, D. R. Bennet, W. K. Turner, E. W. Hamilton, “Flight Ability of Plecia nearctica in the Laboratory,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 67, 735 (1974).

Mangum, C. L.

C. L. Mangum, P. S. Callahan, “Attraction of Near-Infrared Radiation to Aedes aegypti,” J. Econ. Entomol. 61, 36 (1968).
[PubMed]

Sharp, J. L.

J. L. Sharp, N. C. Leppla, D. R. Bennet, W. K. Turner, E. W. Hamilton, “Flight Ability of Plecia nearctica in the Laboratory,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 67, 735 (1974).

Snow, J. W.

J. W. Snow, P. S. Callahan, “Laboratory Mating Studies of the Corn Earworm, Heliothis zea, (Lepidoptea: Noctuidae),” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 60, 1066 (1967).

Turner, W. K.

J. L. Sharp, N. C. Leppla, D. R. Bennet, W. K. Turner, E. W. Hamilton, “Flight Ability of Plecia nearctica in the Laboratory,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 67, 735 (1974).

Vitello, D.

Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. (1)

P. S. Callahan, “Oviposition Response of the Imago of the Corn Earworm, Heliothis zea (Boddie), to Various Wavelengths of Light,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 50, 444 (1957).

Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. (2)

J. W. Snow, P. S. Callahan, “Laboratory Mating Studies of the Corn Earworm, Heliothis zea, (Lepidoptea: Noctuidae),” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 60, 1066 (1967).

J. L. Sharp, N. C. Leppla, D. R. Bennet, W. K. Turner, E. W. Hamilton, “Flight Ability of Plecia nearctica in the Laboratory,” Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 67, 735 (1974).

Appl. Opt. (3)

Fla. Entomol. (2)

L. L. Buschman, “Invasion of Florida by the ‘Lovebug’ Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae),” Fla. Entomol. 59, 191 (1976).
[CrossRef]

P. S. Callahan, H. A. Denmark, “Attraction of the ‘Lovebug’ Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae), to UV Irradiated Automobile Exhaust Fumes,” Fla. Entomol. 56, 113 (1973).
[CrossRef]

Int. J. Insect Morphol. Embryol. (1)

P. S. Callahan, “Insect Antenna with Special Reference to the Mechanism of Scent Detection and the Evolution of the Sensilla,” Int. J. Insect Morphol. Embryol. 4, 381 (1975).
[CrossRef]

J. Econ. Entomol. (1)

C. L. Mangum, P. S. Callahan, “Attraction of Near-Infrared Radiation to Aedes aegypti,” J. Econ. Entomol. 61, 36 (1968).
[PubMed]

Science (1)

R. D. Cadle, E. R. Allen, “Atmospheric Photochemistry,” Science 167, 243 (1970).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Tall Timbers Conference on Ecological Animal Control (1)

P. S. Callahan, H. A. Denmark, “The ‘Lovebug’ Phenomenon,” in Tall Timbers Conference on Ecological Animal Control. Vol. 5 (1974), p. 93.

Other (3)

P. S. Callahan, in Insect Behavior, J. R. Matthews, R. W. Matthews, Eds. (Westview Press, Boulder, Colo, 1982), p. 217.

D. G. Kiely, Dielectric Aerials (Methuen, London, 1953).

P. S. Callahan, The Soul of the Ghost Moth (The Devin-Adair Co., Old Greenwich, Conn., 1981).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Lovebug, Plecia nearctica, obtained its common name from the commonly observed sexual behavior over southern highways. Swarms are composed of paired copulating individuals. The male (right) is much smaller than the female and is pulled along by her.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Head and antennae of the lovebug. The antennae are composed of two elongated basal segments and nine rounded flagellar segments.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Scanning electron photograph of sensilla on the eighth flagellar segment. The rows of numerous finely tapered sensilla are seen at the top. Below the rows blend into a region of broad shallow tapered and sickle shaped sensilla.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Scatter (maserlike) frequencies emitted by formaldehyde blown at 3 kph through the apertures of the punch-hole–curl aluminum antenna. Top, 1000–500 cm−1; bottom, 500–0 cm−1; 0.5 resolutions; 16 scans at 35°C (95°F).

Tables (2)

Tables Icon

Table I Attraction of the Lovebug to Aldehydes (2-min Response time at 35°C)

Tables Icon

Table II Nonlinear (Maserlike) Far-IR Lines from Scatter Stimulated Formaldehyde Vapor

Metrics