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J Chem Ecol. 2002 May;28(5):969-81.

Odor composition of preferred (buffalo and ox) and nonpreferred (waterbuck) hosts of some Savanna tsetse flies.

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International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya.


A previous study on the feeding responses of tsetse flies, Glossina morsitans morsitans, implicated the existence of allomonal barriers, both volatile and nonvolatile, on the nonpreferred host, waterbuck, Kobus defassa. In the present study, electroantennogram-active compounds in odors from waterbuck were compared with those of two preferred hosts of tsetse flies, buffalo, Syncerus caffer, and ox, Bos indicus. Odors from the three bovids were trapped on activated charcoal and/or reverse-phase (octadecyl bonded) silica and analyzed with a gas chromatography-linked electroantennographic detector (GC-EAD) and, where possible, identified by using gas chromatography-linked mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and chromatographic comparisons with authentic samples. The GC-EAD profiles (with G. m. morsitans antennae) of the odors of the two preferred hosts were comparable, comprising medium-chain, saturated or unsaturated aldehydes and phenols, with buffalo emitting a few more EAG-active aldehydes. Waterbuck odor gave a richer profile, consisting of fewer aldehydes but more phenolic components and a series of 2-ketones (C-C13) and delta-octalactone. This bovid also emits moderate amounts of C5-C9 straight-chain fatty acids, some of which were detected in buffalo and ox only in trace amounts. However, these did not elicit significant GC-EAD responses. Waterbuck profiles from the antennae of G. pallidipes showed broad similarity to those from G. m. morsitans, although the composition of aldehydes and ketones was somewhat different, indicating species-specific difference in the detection of host odors. Certain waterbuck-specific EAG-active components, particularly the 2-ketones and lactone, constitute a candidate allomonal blend in waterbuck odor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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