Drosophila attractant

bregje wertheim b1wertheim at yahoo.com
Fri May 30 09:59:34 EST 2003

Fermenting substrates that are suited for oviposition, such as banana, melon etc, serve well in attracting (frugivorous) Drosophila. Rotting cucumbers seems to attract many fungivorous fruit flies. The fruits can be dipped in yeast (or beer!) to enhance their attractivity. Additionally, most fruit flies possess aggregation pheromones, that can strongly enhance the catch of both males and females on these breeding substrates. These pheromones are species-specific, but often contain a general component that attracts most members of a species group.  For example, many members of the melanogaster-species group respond strongly to Z-11-octadecenyl acetate. The aggregation pheromones of 27 species of Drosophila were chemically identified, mostly by R.J. Bartelt, A.M. Schaner and co-workers. The aggregation pheromones are commercially available from chemical firms, and small alliquots (5-15 ug) can easily triple the numbers of fruit flies on these substrates in field experiments (from own experience). The pheromones
  should ideally be stored in a freezers, but could remain stable for several weeks-months under RT conditions. 
I hope this is of help? 
Bregje Wertheim
Dept. of Biology, UCL


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