• GC-EAD;
  • kairomone;
  • Melolontha melolontha;
  • plant volatiles;
  • Scarabaeidae;
  • sex pheromone

Mate finding in the European cockchafer, Melolontha melolontha, has been investigated in the field. Our data suggest that mainly males show flight activity at dusk. In a landing cage bioassay, male cockchafers preferred cages baited with females over cages baited with males. Gas chromatographic analysis of beetle extracts with electronantennographic detection revealed the presence of electrophysiologically active compounds, among them toluquinone. In funnel trap bioassays none of these compounds was attractive towards males per se. A mixture of green leaf volatiles (GLV) mimicking the bouquet of mechanically damaged leaves was highly attractive to M. melolontha males. The attractiveness of the same GLV mixture was synergistically enhanced when toluquinone was added to the lure. GLV attract males to damaged leaves. Toluquinone as a sex pheromone indicates the presence of conspecific females and synergistically enhances the attractiveness of GLV.