Olfactory sensitivity to major, intermediate and trace components of sex pheromone in Ceratitis capitata is related to mating and circadian rhythm

Giorgia Sollai
Paolo Solari;Roberto Crnjar


The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata Wied., is a worldwide pest of several fruits given its extremely wide host range which includes more than 250 different species of fruits and vegetables. Its high biological potential is mainly due both to its ability to readily adapt to new environments and its high reproductive capacity as it completes multiple generations each year. Since sexually mature males emit a sex pheromone to call both other males for “lekking” and receptive females for mating, many studies have been directed to characterize the chemical composition of the sex pheromone. Besides, the release of sex pheromone appears to be modulated both by mating and time of day. Based on these considerations, we measured the olfactory sensitivity of antennae and palps of C. capitata to six volatiles of the male sex-pheromone: α-farnesene and geranyl acetate (major components), linalool and β-myrcene (intermediate components), β-farnesene and 2,3-butanediol (minor/trace components). The electroantennogram (EAG) and electropalpogram (EPG) responses were evaluated in both sexes, at different physiological states (virgin and mated), and at different times of the day (morning and afternoon). The results show that the EAG amplitude values in response to all stimuli are higher in the morning than in the afternoon for both sexes and in both virgin and mated insects. Furthermore, in both sexes, the olfactory sensitivity of virgin insects is higher than in mated ones. The EPG amplitude in response to all stimuli is higher in the morning in mated females than in virgin females and higher in the morning than in the afternoon in both mated sexes. By gaining knowledge on the effects of sex, physiological state and time of day on the olfactory sensitivity of C. capitata, one could better understand the medfly reproductive behavior.
Esperti anonimi
olfaction; ceratitis capitata; virgin; mated; time of day
Sollai, Giorgia; Solari, Paolo; Crnjar, ROBERTO MASSIMO
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