α-Copaene, A Potential Rendezvous Cue for the Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Ceratitis Capitata?
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α-Copaene, a potent attractant for male Mediterranean fruit flies, Ceratitis capitata, is found as a minor component in the essential oils of various plant species, including its hosts such as orange, guava, and mango. Despite the specific attraction of male flies and the wide distribution of the compound in host plants, the biological significance of α-copaene remains unknown. In a laboratory test, leklike behavior of C. capitata was induced artificially by using a plastic leaf model treated with (+)-α-copaene. It was also found that (+)-α-copaene affected virgin females, provoking "pseudomale" courtship behavior in the short-range bioassay. Mating occurred exclusively on the artificial leaves treated with α-copaene, suggesting the compound potentially serves as a chemical cue to facilitate orientation of flies to the rendezvous site.
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