Infection with the insect virus Hz-2v alters mating behavior and pheromone production in female Helicoverpa zea moths

J Insect Sci. 2005;5:6. doi: 10.1093/jis/5.1.6.


The effect of Hz-2V virus infection on the reproductive physiology and behavior of infected Helicoverpa zea female moths was examined. In the absence of males, infected females exhibited calling behavior and called as often but for shorter periods on average than control females. As expected, control females mated with males for extend periods when they were present and did not call after mating, while virus-infected females made many frequent contacts with males and continued to call even after these contacts. Virus-infected females were found to produce five to seven times more pheromone than control females and attracted twice as many males as did control females in flight tunnel experiments. The ability of Hz-2V to alter the physiology and behavior of infected females observed here may serve to facilitate the transmission of virus in insect populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / veterinary
  • Insect Viruses / isolation & purification
  • Insect Viruses / pathogenicity*
  • Male
  • Moths / chemistry
  • Moths / physiology*
  • Moths / virology*
  • Pheromones / biosynthesis
  • Pheromones / chemistry
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vocalization, Animal / physiology


  • Pheromones