Electrophysiological and Behavioral Responses ofThanatophilus sinuatusFabricius (Coleoptera: Silphidae) to Selected Cadaveric Volatile Organic Compounds

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Soon after death, carcasses release volatile chemicals that attract carrion insects including Silphidae. Nevertheless, it is not known which chemical cues are involved in the attractiveness of the carcass. So far, little information is available on the chemical ecology of carrion beetles, particularly concerning the subfamily of Silphinae. The biological role of selected cadaveric volatile organic compounds including dimethyldisulfide (DMDS), butan-1-ol, n-butanoic acid, indole, phenol, p-cresol, putrescine, and cadaverine on the silphine species, Thanatophilus sinuatus Fabricius, was investigated using both electrophysiological and behavioral techniques. Among the tested cadaveric compounds, butan-1-ol and DMDS elicited the strongest electroantennography (EAG) from both T. sinuatus male and female antennae. In a two-arm olfactometer, males and females were significantly attracted to DMDS for both tested doses, whereas only males were attracted to p-cresol at 100 ng. Putrescine was repellent to males at the dose of 1 μg.

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