Document Detail

Chemical Communication in the Honey Bee Scarab Pest Oplostomus haroldi: Role of (Z)-9-Pentacosene.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23149473     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Oplostomus haroldi Witte belongs to a unique genus of afro-tropical scarabs that have associations with honey bee colonies, from which they derive vital nutrients. Although the attributes of the honey bee nest impose barriers to communication among nest invaders, this beetle still is able to detect conspecific mates for reproduction. Here, we show, through behavioral studies, that cuticular lipids serve as mate discrimination cues in this beetle. We observed five steps during mating: arrestment, alignment, mounting, and copulation, and a post-copulatory stage, lasting ~40-70 % of the total mating duration, that suggested mate guarding. Chemical analysis identified the same nine straight-chain alkanes (C(23)-C(31)), six methyl-branched alkanes (6), and five mono-unsaturated alkenes in the cuticular lipids of both sexes. Methyl alkanes constituted the major component (46 %) of male cuticular lipids, while mono-unsaturated alkenes were most abundant (53 %) in females. (Z)-9-Pentacosene was twice as abundant in females than in males, and ~20 fold more concentrated in beetles than in worker bees. In mating assays, (Z)-9-pentacosene elicited arrestment, alignment, and mounting, but not copulation, by male beetles. These results represent the first evidence of a contact sex pheromone in a scarab beetle. Such contact pheromones may be an essential, cryptic mechanism for arthropods associated with eusocial insects.
Ayuka T Fombong; Peter E A Teal; Richard T Arbogast; Paul N Ndegwa; Lucy W Irungu; Baldwyn Torto
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-11-14
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of chemical ecology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1573-1561     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Chem. Ecol.     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505563     Medline TA:  J Chem Ecol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), P.O. Box 30772-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.
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