Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 87–100

α-Copaene, A Potential Rendezvous Cue for the Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Ceratitis Capitata?


  • Ritsuo Nishida
    • Laboratory of Chemical Ecology, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto University, Sakyo-ku
  • Todd E. Shelly
    • Hawaiian Evolutionary Biology ProgramUniversity of Hawaii
  • Timothy S. Whittier
    • Hawaiian Evolutionary Biology ProgramUniversity of Hawaii
  • Kenneth Y. Kaneshiro
    • Hawaiian Evolutionary Biology ProgramUniversity of Hawaii

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005489411397

Cite this article as:
Nishida, R., Shelly, T.E., Whittier, T.S. et al. J Chem Ecol (2000) 26: 87. doi:10.1023/A:1005489411397


α-Copaene, a potent attractant for male Mediterranean fruit flies, Ceratitis capitata, is found as a minor component in the essential oils of various plant species, including its hosts such as orange, guava, and mango. Despite the specific attraction of male flies and the wide distribution of the compound in host plants, the biological significance of α-copaene remains unknown. In a laboratory test, leklike behavior of C. capitata was induced artificially by using a plastic leaf model treated with (+)-α-copaene. It was also found that (+)-α-copaene affected virgin females, provoking "pseudomale" courtship behavior in the short-range bioassay. Mating occurred exclusively on the artificial leaves treated with α-copaene, suggesting the compound potentially serves as a chemical cue to facilitate orientation of flies to the rendezvous site.

Mediterranean fruit flyCeratitis capitataTephritidaeDipteraα-copaeneattractantmating behaviorlek

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000