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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Identification of oviposition attractants of the secondary screwworm, Cochliomyia macellaria (F) released from rotten chicken liver

item Zhu, Junwei
item Chaudhury, Muhammad
item Tangtrakulwanich, Khanobporn -
item Skoda, Steven

Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 13, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The secondary screwworm, Cochliomyia macellaria (L.) is an economically important species to both livestock and humans causing economic losses through mechanical transmission of pathogenic disease agents and facultative myiasis. The adult flies are attracted to decomposing carcasses, carrion or rotten meat to deposit their eggs; the hatched larvae develop on these decaying organic matters. This research was conducted to identify volatiles emitted from rotten livers that cause attraction and oviposition by gravid females.

Technical Abstract: The gravid females laid significantly more eggs on rotten livers than on the fresh ones, and the chicken liver was more attractive than the beef liver. Volatiles from these test materials were collected using solid phase microextraction techniques, and subjected to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry identification. 6-7 different major compounds were tentatively identified from the rotten beef and chicken livers. Electroantennogram (EAG) was performed to determine antennal responses to those chemicals that may act as compositional compounds in a synthetic oviposition attractant blend. EAG responses varied with 2-phenyl ethanol and dimethyl trisulfide being most active. Oviposition assay with a synthetic blend containing the six compounds identified from rotten chicken liver produced significantly more eggs than the corresponding ethanol solvent control.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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