Structure and function of Dufour gland pheromones from the crazy ant Paratrechina longicornis
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Dufour glands of Paratrechina longicornis were analyzed chemically using GC-MS techniques. The glands contained twelve alkanes between C9 and C20 chain length with undecane and tridecane as the main components, six alkenes (1- and 4-undecene, 1-, 4-, and 6- tridecene, and heptadecadiene), two alkyl formates (C11 and C13), and saturated and polyunsaturated acids. Many of the alkanes and alkenes were behaviorally active causing a short lasting attraction of ants with different intensity. Detection of the major gland compound undecane in recruitment trails by in vivo SPME sampling provided evidence for its use as a recruitment pheromone. Both poison gland (formic acid) and Dufour gland (undecane) contents were detected on SPME fibers which had been attacked by the ants.
Keywords.Paratrechina longicornis chemical communication alarm recruitment Dufour gland hydrocarbons
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