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Olea europaea chemicals repellent toDacus oleae females


The egg dispersion strategy of the olive fruit flyDacus oleae, which is dependent on chemicals from the fruit, was investigated. In particular, the exact role ofo-diphenolic compounds, such as the typical olive glucosides, oleuropein and demethyloleuropein, and their derivatives was clarified. It appears that the strong chemotactile repulsive effect exerted by the water fraction of crushed olives is due mainly to (E)-2-hexenal. Several compounds, such asβ-3,4-dihydroxyphenylethanol and other oleuropein derivatives, which exert a strong chemotactile repulsion, were newly identified or confirmed either in fresh olive juice or in olive mill waste water. This result confirms that the small droplets of olive juice, regurgitated just after egg laying by theD. oleae female all around the oviposition hole, actually prevent other females from ovipositing on the same fruit.

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Lo Scalzo, R., Scarpati, M.L., Verzegnassi, B. et al. Olea europaea chemicals repellent toDacus oleae females. J Chem Ecol 20, 1813–1823 (1994).

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Key words

  • Olea europaea
  • chemotactile repellents
  • Bactrocera (Dacus)oleae
  • Diptera
  • Tephritidae
  • oviposition behaviour
  • oliveo-diphenolic compounds