Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 24, Issue 10, pp 1629–1637 | Cite as

Pygidial Gland of Azteca NR. bicolor AND Azteca chartifex: Morphology and Chemical Identification of Volatile Components

  • Ruth R. Do Nascimento
  • J. Billen
  • Antônio Euzébio G. Sant'ana
  • E. D. Morgan
  • A. Y. Harada


The large paired reservoirs of the pygidial gland of Azteca nr. bicolor and A. chartifex represents the largest exocrine structure in the abdomen. The glands produce a secretion with a strong smell, which the ants release when they are disturbed. Analyses of the secretions by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) revealed a mixture of iridoids and ketones. A. nr. bicolor contains 2-heptanone (8%) and a mixture of three iridodial isomers, with trans-trans-iridodial as the major component (32%). A. chartifex contains 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one (13%) and the three isomeric iridodials with cis-trans-iridodial as the principal component (32%).

Azteca spp. morphology iridoids pygidial glands gas chromatography–mass spectrometry 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth R. Do Nascimento
    • 1
  • J. Billen
    • 2
  • Antônio Euzébio G. Sant'ana
    • 1
  • E. D. Morgan
    • 3
  • A. Y. Harada
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal de AlagoasMaceió-AlagoasBrazil
  2. 2.Zoological InstituteUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryKeele UniversityKeele, StaffordshireEngland
  4. 4.Departamento de ZoologiaMuseu Paraense Emílio GoeldiBelém-ParáBrazil

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