Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 3493–3510

Trail pheromone of the antTetramorium impurum and model compounds: Structure-activity comparisons


  • E. David Morgan
    • Department of ChemistryUniversity of Keele
  • Brian D. Jackson
    • Department of ChemistryUniversity of Keele
  • David G. Ollett
    • Department of ChemistryUniversity of Keele
  • Geoffrey W. Sales
    • Department of ChemistryUniversity of Keele

DOI: 10.1007/BF00982113

Cite this article as:
Morgan, E.D., Jackson, B.D., Ollett, D.G. et al. J Chem Ecol (1990) 16: 3493. doi:10.1007/BF00982113


The major component of the trail pheromone ofT. impurum is methyl 2-hydroxy-6-methylbenzoate (methyl 6-methyl salicylate). The poison reservoir of each worker contains about 1.0 ng of this substance in the venom. To ascertain the degree of specificity of the substance as pheromone and to determine any correlation between structure and biological activity, 38 synthetic analogs were tested in a bioassay. Sixteen compounds showed activity at 100 ng per artificial trail. The importance of the methyl group and methyl ester were demonstrated, while the hydroxyl group has a relatively small effect.

Key Words

Tetramorium impurumHymenopteraFormicidaetrail pheromoneantvenommethyl 6-methylsalicylatestructure-activity correlation
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990