Cuticular chemistry of the Queensland fruit fly Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt)

Soo J. Park, Gunjan Pandey, Cynthia Castro-Vargas, John G. Oakeshott, Phillip W. Taylor, Vivian Mendez

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The cuticular layer of the insect exoskeleton contains diverse compounds that serve important biological functions, including the maintenance of homeostasis by protecting against water loss, protection from injury, pathogens and insecticides, and communication. Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) is the most destructive pest of fruit production in Australia, yet there are no published accounts of this species’ cuticular chemistry. We here provide a comprehensive description of B. tryoni cuticular chemistry. We used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify and characterize compounds in hexane extracts of B. tryoni adults reared from larvae in naturally infested fruits. The compounds found included spiroacetals, aliphatic amides, saturated/unsaturated and methyl branched C12 to C20 chain esters and C29 to C33 normal and methyl-branched alkanes. The spiroacetals and esters were found to be specific to mature females, while the amides were found in both sexes. Normal and methyl-branched alkanes were qualitatively the same in all age and sex groups but some of the alkanes differed in amounts (as estimated from internal standard-normalized peak areas) between mature males and females, as well as between mature and immature flies. This study provides essential foundations for studies investigating the functions of cuticular chemistry in this economically important species.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4185
Number of pages18
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • cuticular hydrocarbons
  • cuticle
  • chemical communication
  • GC-MS
  • methyl branched alkanes
  • chemical ecology
  • volatiles
  • Methyl branched alkanes
  • Chemical communication
  • Cuticular hydrocarbons
  • Cuticle
  • Chemical ecology
  • Volatiles


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    Taylor, P., Clarke, A., Riegler, M., Kemp, D., Ponton, F., Cameron, S., Schutze, M., Cook, J., Papanicolaou, A., Dominiak, B., Jessup, A., Reynolds, O., Suckling, M., El Sayad, A., Mas, F., Royer, J., Schellhorn, N., Macfadyen, S., Wilson, C., MQRES Inter Tuition Fee only 2, M. I. T. F. O. 2. & MQRES Inter Tuition Fee only, M. I. T. F. O.

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