Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Jeremy McNeil

Second Advisor

Dr. Nusha Keyghobadi

Third Advisor

Dr. Bryan Neff


Males of the true armyworm, Pseudaletia unipuncta, release sex pheromones from bilateral hairpencils, so fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of the pheromone source and concentration may be important in female choice. A survey of the field caught true armyworm males showed high inter-male variability in both concentration and FA from July 12toAugust5.1alsoquantifiedpheromonesofmalesfedonartificialdietorcom leaves during larval development when reared under controlled laboratory and fluctuating field conditions. Again I found that both larval diet and abiotic conditions could influence both pheromone concentration and FA. Newly-emerged males reared under field condition had more pheromones and were more symmetrical than ones reared under controlled laboratory conditions on both larval diets. However, these differences were not significant by day six. I also tested the hypothesis that male pheromone was important for male mating success in a series of experiments, where the quantity/quality of larval or adult food resources varied. Female preferred males with higher pheromone content and

lower FA when there had been some level of dietary stress, but not when individuals had been provided ample diet as larvae and adults.



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