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Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 159–180 | Cite as

Electroantennogram responses of the mediterranean fruit fly,Ceratitis capitata, to a spectrum of plant volatiles

  • Douglas M. Light
  • Eric B. Jang
  • Joseph C. Dickens
Article

Abstract

Electroantennograms (EAGs) were recorded from unmated, laboratory-reared, male and femaleCeratitis capitata (medfly) in response to a range of C1 and C2 to C12 carbon chain-length aliphatic alcohols, aldehydes, acetates, and acids, and lactones, some of which are known volatiles from leaves and fruits. A large degree of EAG response uniformity between the sexes was observed, with only eight of the 70 compounds tested eliciting significantly larger amplitude EAG responses from female than male antennae. In general, for the five functional-group series tested, aldehydes and alcohols elicited greater responses than acetates, lactones, and acids. The unsaturated alcohols, aldehydes, acetates, and acids elicited equal or larger amplitude EAG responses than their comparable saturated compounds. For four of the functional-group series tested, the EAG response amplitude was significantly greater for a particular carbon chain length, with responsiveness to primary alcohols and aldehydes peaking at C6, acids peaking at C5–6, and acetates peaking at both C5 and C8. The EAG responses to both the 2- and 3-position monoenic alcohols peaked at C6 and C8, while the secondary alcohols peaked at C7. The greatest EAG responses of all compounds tested were elicited by monoenic C6 alcohols and aldehydes that are constituents of the “general green-leaf odor” that emanates from most plants. The potential adaptive benefit of selective sensitivity to green-leaf volatiles is discussed in regard to foraging behavior of medflies.

Key words

Diptera Tephritidae Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata plant volatiles fruit volatiles green-leaf volatiles olfaction electrophysiology electroantennogram 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas M. Light
    • 1
  • Eric B. Jang
    • 2
  • Joseph C. Dickens
    • 3
  1. 1.USDA-ARS Western Regional Research CenterAlbany
  2. 2.USDA-ARS Tropical Fruit and Vegetable LaboratoryHilo
  3. 3.USDA-ARS Boll Weevil Research LaboratoryMississippi State

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