Modulatory effects of octopamine and serotonin on male sensitivity and periodicity of response to sex pheromone in the cabbage looper moth, Trichoplusia ni



The pheromone-mediated flight behavior of male cabbage looper moths in a sustained-flight tunnel and random activity exhibited during scotophase were observed after males were treated with octopamine or serotonin (5 hydroxytryptamine). Octopamine induced a hypersensitivity to the olfactory signal, resulting in a significant lowering of the pheromone dose that elicited peak levels of response. Octopamine, however, did not affect the circadian rhythmicity of response to pheromone. In contrast, serotonin disrupted the circadian rhythmicity of response, resulting in a high percentage of males exhibiting random activity and response to pheromone throughout the entire 8 h scotophase instead of during the normal peak period during the latter part of the scotophase. Serotonin did not effect a decrease in the dose of pheromone eliciting peak response. In addition, at the highest dosages tested octopamine and serotonin induced opposite postures associated with a paralysis that occurred when males attempted to take flight to the pheromone.