Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 267–284 | Cite as

Unusual polymethyl alkenes in tsetse flies acting as abstinon inGlossina morsitans

  • D. A. Carlson
  • Y. Schlein


The major alkene of the male tsetse fly,Glossina morsitans morsitans, was isolated for characterization by thin-layer and gas chromatography (GC). The mass spectra of the alkene and the alkene DMDS derivative indicated one isomer, 19,23-dimethyltritriacont-1-ene. The material is present at 1–2μg/male fly and is partially transferred to the female preparatory to or during mating. A dose-dependent antiaphrodisiac effect was seen with exposed male flies using the isolated natural product, with 2 and 4μg causing 80% loss of copulatory attempts, and 10μg extinguishing the attempts. This effect was increased by addition of male-produced alkane. This compound and a 31-carbon homolog also appear inG. m. submorsitans. Similar quantities of alkenes that are species-specific appear in all tsetse males. Structures of male-produced trimethylalkenes that appear in two other species,G. palpalis palpalis andG. fuscipes fuscipes, were investigated.

Key Words

Mating inhibitor abstinon stimulatory cuticle waves diptera extract hydrocarbon dimethylalkene trimethylalkene aphrodisiac Diptera Muscidae Glossina morsitans morsitans tsetse fly 19,23-dimethyltritriacont-1-ene 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Carlson
    • 1
  • Y. Schlein
    • 2
  1. 1.USDA, ARS, MA VERLGainesville
  2. 2.Department of Parasitology, Hadassah Medical SchoolThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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