Presence of Putative Male-Produced Sex Pheromone in Lutzomyia cruciate (Diptera: Psychodidae), Vector of Leishmania mexicana

Periodo de realización: 1900/01/01 al 2016/01/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Lugar(es) de estudio: Tapachula de Córdova y Ordoñez, Chis., México
Resumen: "Lutzomyia cruciata (Coquillet) is a vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Mexico and Central America. However, several aspects of its ecology and behavior are unknown, including whether a male pheromone partially mediates the sexual behavior of this sand fly. In this study, we evaluated the behavioral response of females to male abdominal extracts in a Y-tube olfactometer. The volatile compounds from male abdominal extracts were identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and compared with those of female abdominal extracts. Finally, the disseminating structures of the putative sex pheromone were examined by scanning electron microscopy in the male abdomen. Females were more attracted to male abdominal extract than to the hexane control, suggesting the presence of male-produced sex pheromone. The male abdominal extracts were characterized by the presence of 12 sesquiterpene compounds. The major component, an unknown sesquiterpene with an abundance of 60%, had a mass spectrum with molecular ion of m/z 262. In contrast, the abdominal female extracts contained saturated fatty acids. Finally, we detected the presence of small “papules” with a mammiform morphology distributed on the abdominal surface of tergites IV-VII of male Lu. cruciata. These structures are not present in females. We conclude that Lu. cruciata males likely produce a pheromone involved in attracting or courting females."

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