Identification of ant volatile compounds through gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy and the stimulated response to J. evagoras antenna
Mutsaers, Alexander A.P.
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This study further explores the symbiotic relationship between the Australian butterfly Jalmenus evagorasand the ant species Iridomyrmex anceps. Ant volatile compounds may act as olfactory cues for egg-laying butterflies, so these volatile compounds were extracted from several Australian ant species in an attempt to identify the volatiles that were demonstrated to have a significant antennal response. GC/MStechniques identifieda range of volatile compounds,the majority of which were further confirmed through the synthesis of ant volatile standards. It was found among ants of the genus Iridomyrmex that isomers of iridodial were the predominant volatiles identified, while in samples from the species Froggatella kirbii, dolichodial was identified as the predominant volatile compound. Among Iridomyrmex samples, variation was found in the peak areas of the iridodial isomersand in the occurrenceof other volatiles found in lesser quantities. This lays a basis for the discrimination of oviposition sites based on olfactory cues, and proposed field-trapping studies could explore this relationship further.