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Original Papers & Book Chapters



(97) Mair, M.M., Kmezic, V., Huber, S., Pannebakker, B.A., Ruther, J. (2017) The chemical basis of mate recognition in two parasitoid wasp species of the genus Nasonia. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 163 (in press)
DOI: 10.1111/eea.12589

(96) Junker, R. R., Kuppler, J., Amo, L., Blande, J. D., […] Ruther, J. et al. (2017). Covariation and phenotypic integration in chemical communication displays: biosynthetic constraints and eco-evolutionary implications. New Phytologist (in press) doi: 10.1111/nph.14505

(95) Tappert, L., Pokorny, T., Hofferberth, J. & Ruther, J. (2017) Sublethal doses of imidacloprid disrupt sexual communication and host finding in a parasitoid wasp. Scientific Reports 7, 42756 (OPEN ACCESS).



(94) Ruther, J. (2016) Chemische Kommunikation bei parasitischen Wespen. S. 17-28 in: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Hrsg.): Die Sprache der Moleküle – Chemische Kommunikation in der Natur. Rundgespräche Forum Ökologie, Band 45. Pfeil, München.

(93) von Hoermann, C., Ruther, J. & Ayasse, M. 2016 Volatile organic compounds of decaying piglet cadavers perceived by Nicrophorus vespilloides. Journal of Chemical Ecology 42: 756-767.

(92) Ruther, J., Hagström, A.K, Brandstetter, B., Hofferberth, J., Bruckmann, A., Semmelmann, F., Fink, M., Lowack, H., Laberer, S., Niehuis, O., Deutzmann, R., Löfstedt, C. & Sterner, R. (2016) Epimerisation of chiral hydroxylactones by short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases accounts for sex pheromone evolution in Nasonia. Scientific Reports 6: 34697 (OPEN ACCESS)

(91) Brandstetter, B. & Ruther, J. (2016) An insect with a delta-12 desaturase, the jewel wasp Nasonia vitripennis, benefits from nutritional supply with linoleic acid. The Science of Nature, 103:40.

(90) Engel, K. C., Stökl, J., Schweizer, R., Vogel, H., Ayasse, M., Ruther, J., Steiger, S. (2016). A hormone-related female anti-aphrodisiac signals temporary infertility and causes sexual abstinence to synchronize parental care. Nature Communications 7: article no. 11035, doi:10.1038/ncomms11035.OPEN ACCESS



(89) Weiss, I., Ruther, J. & Stökl, J. (2015) Species specificity of the putative male antennal aphrodisiac pheromone in Leptopilina heterotoma, Leptopilina boulardi, and Leptopilina victoriae. BioMed Research International, Article ID 202965 OPEN ACCESS

(88) Stökl, J., Machacek Z. & Ruther, J. (2015) Behavioural flexibility of the chemical defence in the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina heterotoma. The Science of Nature 102: 67

[87] Obermayr, U., Ruther, J., Bernier, U., Rose, A. & Geier, M. (2015) Evaluation of a push-pull approach for Aedes aegypti (L.) using a novel dispensing system for spatial repellents in the laboratory and in a semi-field environment. Plos One 10(6): e0129878 OPEN ACCESS

[86] Bernadou, A., Ruther, J. & Heinze, J. (2015) Avoid mistakes when choosing a new home: Nest choice and adoption in Leptothorax ant queens. Journal of Insect Physiology http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.insphys.2015.06.008

[85] Kühbandner, S. & Ruther, J. (2015) Solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) with in situ transesterification: an easy method for the detection of non-volatile fatty acid derivatives on the insect cuticle. Journal of Chemical Ecology: 41: 584-592.

[84] Sperling, S., Kühbandner, S., Engel, K., Steiger, S., Stökl, J. & Ruther, J. (2015) Size exclusion high performance liquid chromatography: Re-discovery of a rapid and versatile method for clean-up and fractionation in chemical ecology. Journal of Chemical Ecology: 41: 574-583.
[83] Weiss, I., Hofferberth, J., Ruther, J. & Stökl, J. (2015). Varying importance of cuticular hydrocarbons and iridoids in the species-specific mate recognition pheromones of three closely related Leptopilina species. Front. Ecol. Evol. 3:19. OPEN ACCESS.

[82] Czaczkes, T. Heinze, J. & Ruther, J. (2015) Nest Etiquette—where ants go when nature calls. PloS One 10(2): e0118376. OPEN ACCESS.



[81] Blaul, B., Steinbauer, R., Merkl, P., Merkl, R., Tschochner, H. & Ruther, J. (2014) Oleic acid is a precursor of linoleic acid and the male sex pheromone in Nasonia vitripennis. Journal: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 51: 33-40.

[80] Ruther, J. (2014) Pheromone research - still something to write home about. Journal of Chemical Ecology 40: 215.

[79] Ruther, J. (2014) Pheromone diversification and age-dependent behavioural plasticity decrease interspecific mating costs in Nasonia. PloS One 9(2): e89214. OPEN ACCESS. Ruther, J., McCaw, J., Böcher, L., Pothmann, D. & Putz, I.

Stökl, J., Dandekar, A.T. & Ruther, J. (2014) High chemical diversity in a wasp pheromone: a blend of methyl 6-methylsalicylate, fatty alcohol acetates and cuticular hydrocarbons releases courtship behavior in the Drosophila parasitoid Asobara tabida. Journal of Chemical Ecology 40: 159-168.

[77] Ruther, J. & Hammerl, T. (2014) An oral male courtship pheromone terminates the response of Nasonia vitripennis females to the male sex attractant. Journal of Chemical Ecology 40: 56-62.


[76] Kühbandner, S., Bello, J.E., Mori, K., Millar, J.G. & Ruther, J. (2013) Elucidating structure-bioactivity relationships of methyl-branched alkanes in the contact sex pheromone of the parasitic wasp Lariophagus distinguendus. Insects 4, 743-760 OPEN ACCESS.

[75] Weiss, I., Rössler, T., Hofferberth, J., Brummer, M., Ruther, J. & Stökl, J. (2013) A nonspecific defensive compound evolves into a competition-avoidance cue and a female sex-pheromone. Nature Communications 4, 2767 OPEN ACCESS.

[74] Niehuis, O.*, Buellesbach, J.*, Gibson, J.D.*, Pothmann, D., Hanner, C., Mutti, N.S., Judson, A., Gadau, J., Ruther, J.* & Schmitt, T. (2013) Behavioural and genetic analyses of Nasonia shed light on the evolution of sex pheromones. Nature 494: 345-348.
*These authors contributed equally to this research.

[73] Herzner, G., Schlecht, A., Dollhofer, V., Parzefall, C., Harrar, K., Kreuzer, A., Pilsl, L. & Ruther, J. (2013) Larvae of the parasitoid wasp Ampulex compressa sanitize their host, the American cockroach, with a blend of antimicrobials. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 110: 1369-1374

[72] Ruther, J. (2013) Novel insights into pheromone mediated communication in parasitic hymenoptera. In: E. Wajnberg & S. Colazza (Eds.) Recent Advances in Chemical Ecology of Insect Parasitoids. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 112-144. Download flyer


[71] Blaul, B. & Ruther, J. (2012) Body size influences male pheromone signals but not the outcome of mating contests in Nasonia vitripennis. Animal Behaviour 84: 1557-1563.

[70] Kasper, J., Mumm, R., & Ruther, J. (2012) The composition of carcass volatile profiles in relation to storage time and climate conditions. Forensic Science International 223: 64-71 .

[69] Obermayr, U., Ruther, J., Bernier, U., Rose, A. & Geier, M. (2012) Laboratory evaluation techniques to investigate the spatial potential of repellents for push & pull mosquito control systems Journal of Medical Entomology 49: 1387-1397.

[68] Will, S., Delabieb, J.H.C., Heinze, J., Ruther, J. & Oettler, J. (2012) Cuticular lipid profiles of fertile and non-fertile Cardiocondyla ant queens. Journal of Insect Physiology 58: 1245-1249.

[67] von Hoermann, C., Ruther, J. & Ayasse, M. (2012) The attraction of virgin female hide beetles (Dermestes maculatus) to cadavers by a combination of decomposition odour and male sex pheromones. Frontiers in Zoology 9:18. OPEN ACCESS

[66] Kühbandner, S., Sperling, S., Mori, K. & Ruther, J. (2012) Deciphering the signature of cuticular lipids with contact sex pheromone function in a parasitic wasp. Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 2471-2478.


[65] Stökl, J., Hofferberth, J., Pritschet, M., Brummer, M. & Ruther, J. (2012) Stereoselective chemical defense in the Drosophila parasitoid Leptopilina heterotoma is mediated by (-)-iridomyrmecin and (+)-isoiridomyrmecin. Journal of Chemical Ecology 38: 331-339.


[64] Kühbandner, S., Hacker, K., Niedermayer, S., Steidle, J.L.M. & Ruther, J. (2012) Composition of cuticular lipids in the pteromalid wasp Lariophagus distinguendus is host dependent. Bulletin of Entomological Research 102: 610-617.


[63] von Hoermann, C., Ruther, J., Reibe, S., Madea, B. & Ayasse, M. (2011) The importance of carcass volatiles as attractants for the hide beetle Dermestes maculatus (De Geer). Forensic Science International 212: 173-179.

[62] Ruther, J., Döring, M. & Steiner, S. (2011) Cuticular hydrocarbons as contact sex pheromone in the parasitoid Dibrachys cavus. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 140: 59-68.

[61] Blaul, B. & Ruther, J. (2011) How parasitoid females produce sexy sons: a causal link between oviposition preference, dietary lipids, and mate choice in Nasonia. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 3286-3293.

[60] Ruther, J., Thal, K. & Steiner, S. (2011) Pheromone Communication in Nasonia vitripennis: Abdominal sex attractant mediates site fidelity of releasing males. Journal of Chemical Ecology 37: 161-165.

[59] Herzner, G., Ruther, J., Goller, S., Schulz, S., Göttler, W. & Strohm, E. (2011)Structure, chemical composition and putative function of the postpharyngeal gland of the Emerald cockroach wasp, Ampulex compressa (Hymenoptera, Ampulicidae). Zoology 114: 36-41. 


[58] Ruther, J. (2010) Die Chemie muss stimmen. Blick in die Wissenschaft 22: 41-46.

[57] Ruther, J., Thal, K., Blaul, B. & Steiner, S. (2010) Behavioural switch in the sex pheromone response of Nasonia vitripennis females is linked to receptivity signalling. Animal Behaviour 80: 1035-1040.


[56] Ruther, J., Matschke, M., Garbe, L.-A. & Steiner, S. (2009) Quantity matters: male sex pheromone signals mate quality in the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276: 3303-3310.

[55] Steiner, S. & Ruther, J. (2009) Mechanism and behavioral context of male sex pheromone release in Nasonia vitripennis. Journal of Chemical Ecology 35: 416-421.

[54] Steiner, S. & Ruther, J. (2009) How important is sex for females of haplodiploid species under local mate competition? Behavioral Ecology 20:570-574

[53] Schurmann, D., Collatz, J., Hagenbucher, S., Ruther, J. & Steidle, J.L.M.(2009) Olfactory host finding, intermediate memory and its potential ecological adaptation in Nasonia vitripennis. Naturwissenschaften 96:383-391.


[52] Abdel-latief, M., Garbe, L.-A., Koch, M. & Ruther, J. (2008) An epoxide hydrolase involved in the biosynthesis of an insect sex attractant and its use to localize the production site. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 105: 8914-8919

[51] Ruther, J. & Steiner, S. (2008) Costs of female odor in males of the parasitic wasp Lariophagus distinguendus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Naturwissenschaften 95: 547-552.

[50] Ruther, J., Steiner, S. & Garbe, L.A. (2008) 4-Methylquinazoline is a minor component of the male sex pheromone in Nasonia vitripennis. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34: 99-102.

[49] Steiner, S., Henrich, N. & Ruther, J. (2008) Mating with sperm-depleted males does not increase female mating frequency in the parasitoid Lariophagus distinguendus. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 126: 131-137.


[48] Ruther, J., Stahl, L.M., Steiner, S., Garbe, L.A. & Tolasch, T. (2007) A male sex pheromone in a parasitic wasp and control of the behavioral response by the female's mating status. Journal of Experimental Biology 210: 2163-2169.

[47] Kock, D., Ruther, J. & Sauer, K.P. (2007) A male sex pheromone in a scorpionfly. Journal of Chemical Ecology 33: 1249-1256.

[46] Steiner, S., Steidle, J.L.M. & Ruther, J. (2007) Host-associated kairomones used for habitat orientation in the parasitoid Lariophagus distinguendus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Journal of Stored Product Research 43: 587-593.

[45] Steiner, S., Erdmann, D., Steidle, J.L.M. & Ruther, J. (2007) Host habitat assessment by a parasitoid using fungal volatiles. Frontiers in Zoology 4:3. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-4-3. OPEN ACCESS

[44] Steiner, S., Mumm, R. & Ruther, J. (2007) Courtship pheromones in parasitic wasps: comparison of bioactive and inactive hydrocarbon profiles by multivariate statistical methods. Journal of Chemical Ecology 33: 825-838.


[43] Spiewok, S., Schmolz, E. & Ruther, J. (2006) The mating system of the European hornet Vespa crabro: Male seeking strategies and evidence for the involvement of a sex pheromone. Journal of Chemical Ecology 32: 2777-2788.

[42] Reinecke, A., Ruther, J., & Hilker, M. (2006). Precopulatory isolation in sympatric Melolontha species? Agricultural & Forest Entomology 8: 289-293.

[41] Steiner, S., Hermann, N. & Ruther, J. (2006) Characterization of a female courtship pheromone in the parasitoid Nasonia vitripennis. Journal of Chemical Ecology 32: 1687-1702.

[40] Reinecke, A., Ruther, J., Mayer, C.J. & Hilker, M. (2006) Optimized trap lure for male Melolontha cockchafers. Journal of Applied Entomology 130: 171-176.


[39] Ruther, J. & Fürstenau, B. (2005) Emission of herbivore induced volatiles in absence of a herbivore - response of Zea mays to green leaf volatiles and terpenoids. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung 60c: 743-756.

[38] Ruther, J. & Kleier, S. (2005) Plant-plant signaling: Ethylene synergizes volatile emission in Zea mays induced by exposure to (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol. Journal of Chemical Ecology 31: 2217-2222 .

[37] Steiner, S., Steidle, J.L.M. & Ruther, J. (2005) Female sex pheromone in immature insect males - a case of pre-emergence chemical mimicry? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 58: 111-120.

[36] Ruther, J. & Mayer, C.J. (2005) Response of garden chafer Phyllopertha horticola to plant volatiles: from screening to application. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 115: 51-59..

[35] Reinecke, A., Ruther, J. & Hilker, M. (2005) Electrophysiological and behavioural response of Melolontha melolontha to saturated and unsaturated aliphatic alcohols. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 115: 33-40.

[34] Koller R, Jung K, Scheu S, Zimmermann G & Ruther, J. (2005) Biocontrol of the forest cockchafer (Melolontha hippocastani): Experiments on the applicability of the "Catch and Infect"-Technique using a combination of infochemical traps with the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria brongniartii. IOBC-WPRS Bulletin 28: 37-44.


[33] Ruther, J. (2004) Male-biassed response of garden chafer, Phyllopertha horticola, to leaf alcohol and attraction of both sexes to floral plant volatiles. Chemoecology 14:187-192.

[32] Ruther, J. & Tolasch, T. (2004) Response of garden chafer Phyllopertha horticola to floral Japanese beetle lure. Journal of Applied Entomology 128: 158-160.

[31] Ruther, J., Reinecke, A. & Hilker, M. (2004) Olfaktorisch vermittelte Partnerfindung beim Waldmaikäfer, Melolontha F. Laimburg Journal 1: 197-199.


[30] Ruther, J. & Hilker, M. (2003) Attraction of forest cockchafer Melolontha hippocastani to (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol and 1,4-benzoquinone: application aspects. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 107: 141-147.

[29] Steinmetz, I., Schmolz, E., Ruther, J. (2003) Cuticular lipids as trail pheromone in a social wasp. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 270: 385-291.

[28] Steidle, J.L.M., Steppuhn, A. & Ruther, J. (2003) Specific foraging cues used by a generalist parasitoid. Journal of Chemical Ecology 29:131-143.

[27] Tolasch, T., Sölter, S., Tóth, M., Ruther, J. & Francke, W. (2003) (R)-Acetoin - female sex pheromone of the summer chafer Amphimallon solstitiale (L.) Journal of Chemical Ecology 29: 1045-1050.


[26] Ruther, J., Reinecke, A., Tolasch, T. & Hilker, M. (2002) Phenol - Another cockchafer attractant shared by Melolontha hippocastani Fabr. and M. melolontha L. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung 57c: 910-913.

[25] Ruther, J., Reinecke, A., & Hilker, M. (2002) Plant volatiles in the sexual communication of Melolontha hippocastani: response towards time dependent bouquets and novel function of (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol as a sexual kairomone. Ecological Entomology 27: 76-83.

[24] Ruther, J., Meiners, T. & Steidle, J.L.M. (2002) Rich in phenomena lacking in terms - A classification of kairomones. Chemoecology 12: 161-167.

[23] Ruther, J., Sieben, S., Schricker, B. (2002) Nestmate recognition in social wasps: Manipulation of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles induces aggression in the European hornet. Naturwissenschaften 89: 111-114.

[22] Reinecke, A., Ruther, J. Tolasch, T., Francke, W. & Hilker, M. (2002) Alcoholism in cockchafers: Orientation of male Melolontha melolontha towards green leaf alcohols. Naturwissenschaften, 89: 265-269.

[21] Reinecke, A., Ruther, J. & Hilker, M. (2002) The scent of food and defence: Green leaf volatiles and toluquinone as sex attractant mediate mate finding in the European cockchafer, Melolontha melolontha. Ecology Letters 5: 257-263.

[20] Ruther, J., Reinecke, A. & Hilker, M. (2002) Chemically mediated mate finding in the European cockchafer, Melolontha hippocastani Fabr. (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie 13: 373-376.

[19] Steidle, J.L.M., Steppuhn, A. & Ruther, J. (2002) The use of pheromones as foraging kairomones by the generalist parasitoid Lariophagus distinguendus Förster (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie 13: 377-380.

[18] Ruther, J., Reinecke, A. & Hilker, M. (2002) Chemical orientation in Melolontha cockchafers. IOBC/WRPS Bulletin 25 (7): 15-20.

[17] Ruther, J. & Steidle, J.L.M. (2002) "Allohormones": A new class of bioactive substances or old wine in new skins? Journal of Comparative Physiology A 188: 161-162.


[16] Steidle, J.L.M., Lanka, J., Müller, C. & Ruther, J. (2001). The use of general infochemicals in a generalist parasitoid. Oikos, 95, 78-86.

[15] Ruther, J., Podsiadlowski, L. & Hilker, M. (2001) Quinones in cockchafers: additional function of a sex attractant as an antimicrobial agent. Chemoecology, 11, 225-229.

[14] Ruther, J., Reinecke, A., Tolasch, T. & Hilker, M. (2001) Make love not war: A common arthropod defence compound as sex pheromone in the forest cockchafer Melolontha hippocastani. Oecologia, 128, 44-47.


[13] Steidle, J.L.M. & Ruther, J. (2000) Chemicals used for host recognition by the granary weevil parasitoid Lariophagus distinguendus. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 26, 2665-2675.

[12] Ruther, J. (2000) Retention index database for identification of general green leaf volatiles in plants by coupled capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography A, 890/2, 313-319.

[11] Ruther, J., Reinecke, A., Thiemann, K., Tolasch, T. & Hilker, M. (2000) Mate finding in the forest cockchafer, Melolontha hippocastani mediated by volatiles from plants and females. Physiological Entomology, 25, 172-179.

[10] Ruther, J. & Homann, M.; Steidle, J.L.M. (2000) Female derived sex pheromone mediates courtship in the parasitoid Lariophagus distinguendus. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 96, 265-274.

[9] Ruther, J. & Steidle, J.L.M. (2000) Mites as matchmakers: Semiochemicals from host associated mites act as kairomones for both sexes in the parasitoid Lariophagus distinguendus. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 26, 1205-1217.

[8] Ruther, J., Reinecke, A. & Hilker, M. (2000) Die Rolle von Wirtspflanzendüften und Sexualpheromonen in der Partnerfindungsstrategie des Waldmaikäfers, Melolontha hippocastani. Mitt. Biol. Bundesanst. Land- Forstwitsch. 376: 251-252.

Before 2000

[7] Ruther, J., Sieben, S. & Schricker, B. (1998) Role of cuticular lipids in nestmate recognition of the European hornet Vespa crabro L. (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Insectes Sociaux , 45, 169-179.

[6] Ruther, J. & Hilker, M. (1998) A versatile method for on-line analysis of volatile compounds from living samples. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 24, 525-534.

[5] Ruther, J. & Thiemann, K. (1997) Response of the pollen beetle Meligethes aeneus to volatiles emitted by intact plants and conspecifics. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 84: 183-185.

[4] Ruther, J. & Baltes, W. (1994). Sulfur-containing furans in commercial meat Flavorings. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 42: 2254-2259

[3] Ruther, J. & Baltes, W. (1994). Analysis of purine compounds and creatinine by ion-pair high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) as a method for the detection of yeast extracts in commercial meat flavourings. Zeitschrift für Lebensmitteluntersuchung und Forschung 199: 307-310

[2] Ruther, J. & Baltes, W. (1994). Untersuchungen zur Zusammensetzung handelsüblicher Fleischessenzen. Lebenmittelchemie, 48: 27-34

[1] Wittkowski, R., Ruther, J., Drinda, H. & Rafiei-Taghanaki, F. (1992). Formation of Smoke Flavour Compounds by Thermal Lignin Degradation. In: Teranishi, R.; Takeoka, G.R.; Güntert, M. (Eds.) Flavor Precursors: Thermal and enzymatic conversions. American Chemical Society, Washington

Habilitation Thesis

Ruther, J. (2003). The interplay of intra- und interspecific infochemicals in the sexual communication of insects. Cumulative habilitation thesis in Ecology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

PhD Thesis

Ruther, J. (1993). Investigations on the composition of commercial meat flavorings.
PhD thesis, Technische Universität Berlin.


Ruther J. (2009) Attractant for garden chafer Phyllopertha horticola. Europ. Patent 1708570

Ruther J., Reinecke A. & Hilker M. (2002) Attractant for cockchafers. German Patent DE 101 35 103

  1. Fakultäten
  2. Fakultät für Biologie und Vorklinische Medizin