Investigation of the physiological consequences of feeding on methyl eugenol by Bactrocera cacuminata (Hering) (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Raghu, S., Clarke, Anthony R., & Yuval, B. (2002) Investigation of the physiological consequences of feeding on methyl eugenol by Bactrocera cacuminata (Hering) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Environmental Entomology, 31(6), pp. 941-946.


Males of many species of fruit flies (Tephritidae: Dacinae) respond to chemical lures of botanical origin. Such lures (e.g. culure and methyl eugenol (ME)) have been successfully used in fruit fly population management. The hypothesized role of these chemicals by males is exclusively ecological (pheromonal and/or allomonal) and male response has been classed as pharmacophagy. However, for a response to plant derived lures to be classified as pharmacophagous sensu stricto, it must be demonstrated that the role of these chemicals are ecological and not primarily metabolic (e.g. nutritional) or associated with host plant recognition. To specifically test the primary metabolic effects of feeding on ME, we investigated the physiological consequences of exposure to ME in the dacine fly, Bactrocera cacuminata (Hering). Our results indicate that feeding on ME does not confer any physiological advantage to B. cacuminata. This is reflected in the lack of any consistent difference over time between ME-fed and non ME-fed flies in terms of overall weight and lipid, carbohydrate and protein reserves. Survival was not significantly influenced by exposure to ME either. These results support the hypothesis that ME use by B. cacuminata could be pharmacophagous.

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ID Code: 1087
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: pharmacophagy, pheromones, kairomones, energetic reserves, survival, nutrition
ISSN: 0046-225X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > PHYSIOLOGY (060600) > Physiology not elsewhere classified (060699)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Entomological Society of America
Copyright Statement: This article is the copyright property of the Entomological Society of America and may not be used for any commercial or other private purpose without specific written permission of the Entomological Society of America.
Deposited On: 21 Apr 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:58

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