Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 1929–1942 | Cite as

Volatiles from Ficus hispida and Their Attractiveness to Fig Wasps

  • Qishi Song
  • Darong Yang
  • Guangming Zhang
  • Chongren Yang


Volatile compositions of receptive (ready to be pollinated), postpollinated, and postparasitized figs, and leaves of Ficus hispida were analyzed. Differences among them were examined, and the specificity of fig wasp attractiveness was investigated. Linalool was the major constituent of steam-distilled oil of either male or female receptive figs, while dibutyl phthalate was the major compound of the oils of postparasitized and postpollinated figs. In petroleum ether extracts, palmitic oil, and 9,12-octadecadienoic acid were the main constituents of male and female receptive figs, while hexadecanoic acid ethyl ester was the major compound of postparasitized and postpollinated figs. In dichloromethane extracts, linalool was the major constituent of male and female receptive figs, 1-hydroxylinalool was the major component of male postparasitized figs, and 1-hydroxylinalool and benzyl alcohol were the major constituents of female postpollinated figs. Bioassays with sticky traps showed that Ceratosolen solmsimarchal was attracted to dichloromethane extracts of male and female receptive figs and to petroleum ether extracts of female receptive figs, but was not attracted to dichloromethane and petroleum ether extracts of male postparasitized and female postpollinated figs. Figs were attractive to pollinating wasps only at the receptive stage. The volatile constituents of receptive figs were different from those of postpollinated or postparasitized figs. From a receptive to a postpollinated state, figs changed in their volatile composition. Some compounds disappeared or decreased in amount. These include linalool, linalool oxide, α-terpeneol, and 2,6-dimethyl-1,7-octadiene-3,6-diol, which may act as the attractants of the wasps. Others increased in amount, or several additional chemicals appeared. These include dibutyl phthalate, 1-hydroxylinalool, and benzyl alcohol, which may be repellents of the wasps. That dichloromethane extracts of male and female receptive figs showed similar activities in attracting fig wasps indicates that receptive figs of both sexes are similarly attractive to fig wasps, which is further supported by their similar volatile composition. Leaf extract was not attractive to the wasps.

Ficus hispida Ceratosolen solmsimarchali fig volatile chemical attraction 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qishi Song
    • 1
    • 2
  • Darong Yang
    • 1
  • Guangming Zhang
    • 1
  • Chongren Yang
    • 2
  1. 1.Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesKunming, YunnanChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Phytochemistry, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesKunming, YunnanChina

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