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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 170:283-286 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/meps170283

Sex attractant in the marine insect Trochopus plumbeus (Heteroptera: Veliidae): a preliminary report

Lanna Cheng1,*, Vassilios Roussis2

1Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, California 92093-0202, USA
2Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis-Zografou, GR-15771 Athens, Greece

ABSTRACT: We present evidence of sex-attracting substances produced by males of the marine insect Trochopus plumbeus. This small veliid is widely distributed in the Caribbean. Large numbers were found in the mangrove areas of several islands in the Bahamas. Field assays using live insects and extracts demonstrated that females were highly attracted to males and male extracts, but not the opposite. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses of extracts from both males and females revealed the presence of a series of aldehydes and long-chain aliphatic acids that are insoluble in water, some of which could possibly act as surface-dispersible semiochemicals.

KEY WORDS: Sex attractant · Pheromone · Sexual communication · Mangrove · Marine insect · Caribbean · Trochopus plumbeus · Veliidae

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