Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/16/2002
Publication Date: 3/15/2003
Citation: HOWARD,R.W., LORD,J.C., CUTICULAR LIPIDS OF THE STORED FOOD PEST, LIPOSCELIS BOSTRYCHOPHILA BADONNEL (PSOCOPTERA: LIPOSCELIDIDAE): HYDROCARBONS, ALDEHYDES, FATTY ACIDS AND FATTY ACID AMIDES, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY 29(3): 615-627. 2003. Interpretive Summary: Small insects commonly known as book lice are frequent pests of stored commodities. These insects are often hard to control and have the unusual property of being resistant to attack by many pathogenic microorganisms. We have identified four classes of chemicals found on the bodies of these insects that are possibly responsible for this resistance to microorganisms: hydrocarbons, aldehydes, fatty acids and fatty amides. This knowledge will help us to design strategies to try and overcome this resistance as well as to design additional control technologies for these pests.
Technical Abstract: The booklouse, Liposcelis bostrychophila, has increasingly become a common pest of stored food products worldwide. We report here the cuticular hydrocarbon composition of this pest (the first report of the hydrocarbons of any member of the Order Psocoptera) and the first report of fatty acid amides as cuticular components for any insect. No unsaturated hydrocarbons are present. A homologous series of n-alkanes, monomethyl alkanes with a carbon chain range of C28 to C42, and dimethyl alkanes with a carbon number range of C31 to C43 were identified. The amides are a homologous series (C16 to C22 in chain length), with the major amide being stearoylamide. In addition to the amides, substantial quantities of free fatty acids (C16:1, C16:0, C18:2, C18:1 and C18:0 in chain length) and lesser quantities of three straight chain aldehydes (C15, C16 and C17:1 in chain length) also occur as cuticular components. These findings are discussed in terms of the chemical and physiological ecology of this species.