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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Teal, Peter
item Gomez-simuta, Y.
item Meredith, Julia

Submitted to: Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/14/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Males of the Caribbean Fruit Fly, an important pest of citrus in Florida, release chemicals called pheromones to attract females for mating. These pheromones are, therefore, critical for reproductive success. In order to identify week links in the pheromone production system of males it is critical that the mechanisms used to produce pheromones and the tissues responsible for the production of pheromones are identified. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology USDA-ARS in Gainesville Fl. and Programa Mosca Del Mediterraneo, Tapachula, Mexico have been studying how pheromones are transported to release sites in the Caribbean Fruit Fly. They have discovered that the blood of the males carries the pheromone components to the surface of the insect. Their research has also shown that the amount of pheromone in the blood is related to the time of pheromone production during the day and with reproductive age of the males. Thus, males have the highest amount of pheromone in the blood when they are reproductively mature and are releasing pheromones to attract females. This research has provided important information that will allow for additional studies to determine how the pheromones are biosynthesized and what factors affect the production of pheromone

Technical Abstract: Extracts obtained from hemolymph of sexually mature males of the Caribbean fruit fly contained farnescene, bisaboline, anastrephin and epianastrepin, four biologically important terpenoid components of the sex pheromone. The ratio of the components in extracts of hemolymph was the same as the ratio present in the volatile blend of pheromone released by sexually mature males. Studies conducted to determine the effect of age on amounts of these components in hemolymph indicated that the amounts increased from undetectable amounts on the day of adult emergence to maximum levels on day eight. The increases in amounts of the components present in hemolymph with increasing age were correlated with increases in amounts of volatile pheromone released by males. Time of day studies showed that the amounts of these components in hemolymph followed the daily pattern of release of volatile pheromone components. Other components of the sex pheromone including ocimene, (Z)-3-nonen-1-ol, (Z,Z)-3,6-nanadien-1-ol and suspensolide were not found in extracts of hemolymph.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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