, Volume 30, Issue 8, pp 1603-1611

Avian Exocrine Secretions. I. Chemical Characterization of the Volatile Fraction of the Uropygial Secretion of the Green Woodhoopoe, Phoeniculus purpureus

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Abstract

Using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry in conjunction with auxiliary techniques such as solid phase microextraction and determination of double bond positions by means of dimethyl disulfide derivatization, 45 constituents of the uropygial secretion of the green woodhoopoe, Phoeniculus purpureus, have been identified. The majority of these constituents are long-chain branched and unbranched alkanes, and (Z)-alkenes such as (Z)-9-tricosene, and a number of unidentified wax esters. The more volatile fraction of the secretion contained short-chain fatty acids, aldehydes, aliphatic and heterocyclic aromatic amines, ketones, and dimethyl sulfides. This group of volatile compounds is responsible for the obnoxious odor of the secretion and also for its defensive action against predators.