Olfaction plays a dominant role in insect communication. Alarm pheromones, which alert other insects of the same species of impending danger, are a major class of releaser pheromones. The major components of alarm pheromones in red imported fire ants, honeybees and aphids have been identified as 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine (2E-3,6-DP), isopentyl acetate (IPA), and E-β-farnesene (EβF), respectively. In this study, electroantennography (EAG) responses to EDP (a mixture of 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine and 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethylpyrazine), IPA and EβF were investigated in a wide range of insect species. Beside imported fire ants, the EDP (2-ethyl-3,6(5)-dimethylpyrazine) elicited significant EAG response from all other tested insects, including six ant species and one hybrid ant, honeybee, bagrada bug, lady beetle, housefly, small hive beetle, yellow fever mosquito, termite, bedbug, water hyacinth weevil, southern green stink bug and two aphid species. In contrast, IPA elicited significant EAG response only in the honeybee, red imported fire ant, an Aphaenogaster
ant, and the water hyacinth weevil. The EβF only elicited EAG responses in two aphids, small hive beetle and housefly. The results clearly indicate that EDP can be detected by widespread insect species that did not coevolve with S. invicta
and further suggested alkylpyrazine may activate multiple generally tuned olfactory receptors (ORs) across a wide number of insect species.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited