At present, the most effective synthetic lures for pest Anastrepha fruit flies are multicomponent blends that include ammonia and the diamine synergist putrescine (1,4-diaminobutane). Both chemicals generally have been regarded as protein cues that result in female-biased attraction. Using electroantennography (EAG) and flight tunnel bioassays, this study evaluated response of the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) to vapors released from commercial lure formulations of ammonium bicarbonate and putrescine. Over a range of doses tested, EAG response to ammonium bicarbonate was equivalent for both sexes, but female response was significantly greater than male response to putrescine and to a 1:1 mixture of ammonium bicarbonate and putrescine. Amplitude of EAG response to the mixture was approximately equal to the summation of responses to the individual substrates. Using a fixed dose of substrate, EAG measurements from females 1–14 d old indicated that antennal sensitivity to both lures varied according to physiological state of the fly. Peak response to ammonium bicarbonate was recorded from immature females, peak response to putrescine from sexually mature females. In bioassays, more females were captured with ammonium bicarbonate plus putrescine than with ammonium bicarbonate alone. This difference was not observed in males, resulting in a higher female to male ratio in captures with ammonium bicarbonate plus putreseine (3:1) versus ammonium bicarbonate alone (1:1). Results suggest that separate olfactory receptors are involved in detection of the two semiochemicals, and that the putrescine component is primarily responsible for the female-biased attraction.
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