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Responses of Lucilia Sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) to Compounds from Microbial Decomposition of Larval Resources

NCJ Number
Animal Behaviour Volume: 115 Dated: May 2016 Pages: 217-225
Date Published
May 2016
9 pages

This article reports on a study that examined the responses of 7-9-day-old L. sericata adults to dimethyldisulphide, indole, isobutylamine and phenylacetic acid in a Y-tube olfactometer.


Decomposition of vertebrate carrion is partially due to microbes, which release a series of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at various concentrations. These VOCs are part of ecologically relevant public information that serve as cues attracting blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae), such as Lucilia sericata, to remains as a resource both for themselves and for their offspring; however, these responses are partially governed by sex and physiological state (e.g. gravid and nongravid) of the fly and concentration of the VOCs. The VOCs examined in the current study are associated with vertebrate decomposition, carrion-mimicking flowers, as well as fly-attracting bacteria. The results demonstrate a relationship between sex and physiological state regarding dose-dependent attraction to VOCs that occur during decomposition, suggesting that specific decomposition molecules provide distinct types of information to the flies with differing foraging interests. Understanding this dynamic relationship provides insight into the mechanisms regulating arthropod colonization, competition, and resulting succession in association with such ephemeral resources. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: May 1, 2016