Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 187–203 | Cite as

The major component of the trail pheromone of the leaf-cutting ant,Atta sexdens rubropilosa forel

3-Ethyl-2,5-dimethylpyrazine
  • John H. Cross
  • Russell C. Byler
  • Uzi Ravid
  • Robert M. Silverstein
  • Stephen W. Robinson
  • Paul M. Baker
  • João Sabino De Oliveira
  • Alan R. Jutsum
  • J. Malcolm Cherrett
Article

Abstract

The major component of the trail pheromone of the South American leaf-cutting ant,Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel, is 3-ethyl-2,5-dimethylpyrazine (II). Methyl and ethyl phenylacetate and methyl 4-methylpyrrole-2-carboxylate (I), which is the major component of the trail pheromone ofA. texana (Buckley) andA. cephalotes (L.), were also identified and may be minor components. The pheromone is stored in the poison gland.Atta sexdens sexdens (L.) also responds strongly to the pyrazine, which in large amounts evokes a weak response fromA. texana, A. cephalotes, andAcromyrmex octospinosus (Reich). Foraging workers ofAtta sexdens rubropilosa did not preferentially pick up baits impregnated with the pyrazine. The pyrazine was puffed into the nests ofA. cephalotes, and a particular response called “milling” was noted.

Key words

Trail pheromone 3-ethyl-2,5-dimethylpyrazine leaf-cutting ants Atta sexdens Atta cephalotes foraging bait pickup 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Cross
    • 1
  • Russell C. Byler
    • 1
  • Uzi Ravid
    • 1
  • Robert M. Silverstein
    • 1
  • Stephen W. Robinson
    • 2
  • Paul M. Baker
    • 3
  • João Sabino De Oliveira
    • 3
  • Alan R. Jutsum
    • 4
  • J. Malcolm Cherrett
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryState University of New York, College of Environmental Science and ForestrySyracuse
  2. 2.Ministry of Agriculture Extension ServiceSan LorenzoParaguay
  3. 3.Nucleo de Pesquisas de Produtos NaturaisUniversidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Centro de Ciencias da SaudeRio de Janeiro ZC 32Brazil
  4. 4.Department of Applied ZoologyUniversity College of North WalesBangor, GwyneddUK

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