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Responses of Lucilia Ssericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) to Compounds From Microbial Decomposition of Larval Resources

NCJ Number
Animal Behaviour Volume: 115 Dated: 2016 Pages: 217-225
Date Published
May 2016
9 pages
This study examined the responses of 7-9-day-old L. sericata adults to dimethyldisulphide, indole, isobutylamine and phenylacetic acid in a Y-tube olfactometer. These volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are associated with vertebrate decomposition, carrion-mimicking flowers, and fly-attracting bacteria.
The decomposition of vertebrate carrion is partially due to microbes, which release a series of VOCs at various concentrations. These VOCs are part of ecologically relevant public information that serve as cues that attract blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae), such as Lucilia sericata, to remains as a resource both for themselves and for their offspring; however, these responses are partially governed by sex and physiological state (e.g. gravid and nongravid) of the fly and concentration of the VOCs. Results of the current study demonstrate a relationship between sex and physiological state with regard to dose-dependent attraction to VOCs that occur during decomposition, suggesting that specific decomposition molecules provide distinct types of information to the flies with differing foraging interests. Understanding this dynamic relationship provides insight into the mechanisms regulating arthropod colonization, competition, and resulting succession in association with such ephemeral resources. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: May 1, 2016