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J Chem Ecol. 1994 Aug;20(8):1795-812. doi: 10.1007/BF02066223.

Quantification of cantharidin in canthariphilous ceratopogonidae (Diptera), anthomyiidae (Diptera) and cantharidin-producing oedemeridae (Coleoptera).

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Tierökologie II, Universität Bayreuth, 95440, Bayreuth, Germany.


Cantharidin contents were determined in several canthariphilous insects by means of quantitative gas chromatography. Usually the ceratopogonidsAtrichopogon oedemerarum andA. trifasciatus caught in the field contained low concentrations of cantharidin, with concentrations in males, in most cases, being lower than in females. When fed in the laboratory with synthetic cantharidin, these species concentrated cantharidin by as much as 100-fold (males) and 40-fold (females). Accumulation in the different body tagmata (head, thorax, abdomen) of these species is similar. Maximal concentrations of cantharidin in tissues ofAtrichopogon are comparable to those known from oedemerid and meloid beetles. InA. trifasciatus about 90% of total cantharidin content is bound in tissues. Investigations using the canthariphilous anthomyiid flyAnthomyia pluvialis and three cantharidin-producing oedemerid species revealed the same pattern of distribution in different body tagmata as inAtrichopogon.


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