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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337481

Research Project: Products for Invasive Ant Control

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research

Title: Gland origin and electroantennogram activity of volatile compounds in Ghost Ants, Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and behavioral response to (Z)-9-Nonadecene

Author
item Shi, Oingxing - South China Agricultural University
item Lu, Lihua - Guangdong Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Lei, Yanyuan - Guangdong Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item He, Yurong - South China Agricultural University
item Chen, Jian

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2017
Publication Date: 12/8/2017
Citation: Shi, O., Lu, L., Lei, Y., He, Y., Chen, J. 2017. Volatile compounds from the ghost ants, Tapinoma melanocephalum, and their electroantennogram and behavioral activities. Environmental Entomology. 46(6):1374-1980.

Interpretive Summary: Ghost ant is an important household pest with worldwide distribution. In the United States, the ghost ant populations is well established in Florida, Hawaii and Texas. Exocrine secretions are important in ant communication and defense; however study on exocrine secretion of ghost ants is very limited. It has been 30 years since the last publication on the chemistry and function of exocrine secretion of this ant species. In this study, volatile compounds in ghost ant workers were analyzed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. In addition to 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and iridodials that are common in ants of the genus of Tapinoma, (Z)-9-nonadecence was identified the first time in mandibular glands. Electroantennogram responses of workers to these compounds were investigated using coupled gas chromatography-electroantennographic detection. Six compounds elicited electroantennogram response including 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, four isomers iridodials, and (Z)-9-nonadecence. Behavioral response of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and (Z)-9-nonadecence was investigated using synthetic standards. (Z)-9-nonadecence elicited similar behavioral response of workers as 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one that is a well-known alarm pheromone in the genus of Tapinoma. It was frequently observed that ghost ant can maintains its abundance in areas heavily infested with the imported fire ants. These compounds are good candidates to determine their effect against the invasive ants and explore the potential of using those compounds in managing invasive ants.

Technical Abstract: Volatile compounds in Tapinoma melanocephalum workers were analyzed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In addition to 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and iridodials that are common in ants of the genus of Tapinoma, (Z)-9-nonadecence was identified the first time in mandibular glands. Electroantennogram responses of workers to these compounds were investigated using coupled gas chromatography-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD). Six compounds elicited electroantennogram response including 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, four isomers iridodials, and (Z)-9-nonadecence. Behavioral response of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and (Z)-9-nonadecence was investigated using synthetic standards. (Z)-9-nonadecence elicited similar behavioral response of workers as 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one that is a well known alarm pheromone in the genus of Tapinoma.