Termite colonies are almost always founded by a pair of winged dispersers, in spite of the high costs and low success rates inherent in independent colony foundation. The dispersal flights of imagoes from natal colonies are followed by mate search, mediated by sex-pairing pheromones. Here, we studied the chemistry of sex-pairing pheromones and the related aspects of mate search in winged imagoes of two facultatively parthenogenetic species, Embiratermes neotenicus and Silvestritermes minutus, and an additional species from the same subfamily, Silvestritermes heyeri. All three species are widespread in the Neotropics, including the rainforests of French Guiana. After the dispersal flight and spontaneous loss of wings, females expose their hypertrophied tergal glands situated under abdominal tergites VIII – X. The females are attractive to males and, upon direct contact, the two sexes form characteristic tandems. Chemical analyses indicated that the females secrete species-specific combinations of unbranched, unsaturated C12 primary alcohols from the tergal glands, (3Z,6Z,8E)-dodeca-3,6,8-trien-1-ol (approx. 200 pg per female) and (3Z)-dodec-3-enol (185 pg) in E. neotenicus, (3Z,6Z)-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol (3500 pg) in S. heyeri, and (3Z,6Z)-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol (300 pg) and (3Z)-dodec-3-enol (50 pg) in S. minutus. (3Z,6Z,8E)-Dodeca-3,6,8-trien-1-ol and (3Z,6Z)-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol act as major pheromone components in the respective species and mimic the function of female tergal gland extracts in electrophysiological and behavioral experiments. Biologically relevant amounts of the third compound, (3Z)-dodec-3-enol, elicited non-significant reactions in males of E. neotenicus and S. minutus, and slight synergistic effects in males of S. minutus when tested in combination with the major component.
Journal of Chemical Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: May 12, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera