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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #243781

Title: Identification of Chemicals Emitted by Calling Males of the Sapote Fruit Fly, Anastrepha serpentina (Diptera: Tephritidae)

item ROBACKER, DAVID - Retired ARS Employee
item ALUJA, MARTIN - Ecology Institute
item BARTELT, ROBERT - Retired ARS Employee
item Patt, Joseph - Joe

Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/2/2008
Publication Date: 5/9/2009
Citation: Robacker, D.D., Aluja, M., Bartelt, R.J., Patt, J.M. 2009. Identification of Chemicals Emitted by Calling Males of the Sapote Fruit Fly, Anastrepha serpentina (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology. 35:601-609.

Interpretive Summary: Sapote fruit flies have been reported as occasional pests of citrus and have been found with alarming frequency in south Texas in recent years where the citrus industry is struggling to survive. Programs to control this insect must take into account their natural behavior including their response to chemicals produced by males of their own species that function to attract females for mating. Identification of these chemicals is the fist step toward learning about this behavior and attraction. In this work we identified three chemicals produced by males during their courtship of females. One of the chemicals was identified for the first time as a natural product. It is hoped that the chemicals we identified can be used to develop an attractant for traps for this pest. The attractant has potential as a stand-alone lure or could be used in conjunction with other known attractants for this species. Traps baited with this lure would not only attract unmated females to their death but also serve as a tool for detecting flies in areas subject to invasion by this pest. The information will be of interest to other scientists and to the agricultural community affected by these flies.

Technical Abstract: Emissions from sexually active Anastrepha serpentine males were collected by solid-phase microextraction. Calling behavior of wild-type males showed no clear peak during the day, except that it was evident less frequently immediately after daybreak and just before dark. Calling by laboratory males was highest between 8 and 11 hours after onset of the photophase, and mating by wild flies occurred mostly between 6 and 10 hours after onset of photophase. Two major components of male emissions were identified as 2,5-dimethylpyrazine (DMP) and 3,6-dihydro-2,5-dimethylpyrazine (DHDMP). DHDMP was synthesized, and the identity of the natural product confirmed by comparison by gas chromatographic retention times and mass spectrum. Emissions of these chemicals were greatest during peak calling behavior with males emmitting up to 1.8 and 3.3 micrograms per hour of DMP and DHDMP, respectively. A minor component which did not vary with time of day, was identified as 2,3,5-trimethylpyrazine. To our knowledge, this is the first report of 3,6-dihydro-2,5-dimethylpyrazine in nature.