Chemical Mimicry: Bolas Spiders Emit Components of Moth Prey Species Sex Pheromones

Science  22 May 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4804, pp. 964-967
DOI: 10.1126/science.236.4804.964


Field studies have indicated that bolas spiders attract male moth prey, apparently by mimicking the odor of female moth sex pheromones. Three moth sex pheromone compounds, (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate, (Z)-9-tetradecenal, and (Z)-11-hexadecenal, were identified in volatile substances emitted by hunting adult female Mastophora cornigera spiders. These compounds are components of pheromone blends that attract some of this spider's moth prey species.