Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/3/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Previous studies showed that acid treatment of bird feathers, produced a feather hydrolysate (FH) that attracted the Japanese orange fly (Batrocera tsuneonis (Miyake)). This fact coupled with a need to develop better female-specific fruit fly attractants and new ways to consume feather waste generated by poultry production houses, led us to evaluate FH (from chicken feathers) as a candidate attractant for the Mexican and West Indian fruit fly. We also investigated the volatile compounds that emanated from the FH. Our lab tests showed that a near neutral solution of FH was more attractive than NuLure against the West Indian fruit fly but less attractive than NuLure against the Mexican fruit fly (NuLure is a standard lure used for various fruit flies including the Mexican and West Indian fruit fly). Field test data showed that the FH caught ca. 2.5 times more flies than NuLure. We also identified 23 volatile compounds that emanated from FH using standard analytical methods. Further studies are planned to evaluate the attractancy of individual components in the volatiles as well as mixtures. Information derived from these studies will not only help scientists develop better female- specific lures but will help action agencies that need new and more potent attractants to control fruit fly outbreaks threatening production and export of economically important crops. This information could also help the poultry industry find new outlets for their feather waste.
Technical Abstract: A chicken feather hydrolysate (CFH), prepared by heating feathers with 6N hydrochloric acid, was highly attractive to the West Indian fruit fly, Anastrepha obliqua, and the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens. In cage-top laboratory tests to determine the influence of pH on attraction, CFH, adjusted to pH 8.0, elicited the highest response from adult A.obliqua; the attraction response was more than twice that observed for a 10% NuLure standard. Neutral or slightly acidic preparations of CFH were less effective. A.ludens was less attracted in laboratory tests to a 25% CFH than a 10% NuLure standard; the reverse was observed with A.obliqua. In a 5-day field test using sterile released A.ludens, 4.5% CFH, adjusted to pH 8.0, caught almost 2.5 times more flies than 10% NuLure. Twenty-three volatile compounds that emanated from CFH were identified by headspace analysis using GC-MS and GC retention index comparison techniques. Among the volatiles were 7 ketones, 6 alcohols, 2 aldehydes, 2 chlorocarbons and 2 furans. At pH 8.0, the five most abundant compounds in decreasing order were 4-methyl-2-pentanone (76.3%), 4-methyl-2-pentanol (16.5%), 1-hexanol (3.1%), 1-heptanol (0.81%) and 2- butoxyethanol (0.64%).