Attraction of Female and Male Bactrocera papayae to Conspecific Males Fed with Methyl Eugenol and Attraction of Females to Male Sex Pheromone Components

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Abstract

The attraction of female and male Bactrocera papayae to conspecific males fed with methyl eugenol (ME) and female attraction to male synthetic sex pheromone, trans-coniferyl alcohol (CF), were evaluated in a wind tunnel. Earlier and greater attraction were exhibited by both females and males to ME-fed than to non-ME-fed males as dusk approaches. Males increased their precopulatory behavior (i.e., wing fanning and mounting) during the period of higher attractancy. These data confirm that the consumption of ME enhances the mating competitiveness of males and suggest that ME also functions as a precursor to the male sex and aggregation pheromones. Three phenylpropanoid compounds biosynthesized from ME, coniferyl alcohol, 2-allyl-4,5-dimethoxyphenol, and 3,4-dimethoxycinnamyl alcohol, were detected in male rectal gland along with an endogenous rectal compound, N-(3-methylbutyl) acetamide. When offered singly to the females, coniferyl alcohol was found to be most attractive.

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