1-Octen-3-ol isolated from bont ticks attracts Amblyomma variegatum

C. Mcmahon, P. M. Guerin, Z. Syed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Volatiles from various life-stages of the bont ticks Amblyomma variegatum and A. hebraeum were collected by using solid-phase microfibers and charcoal traps. An octenol isomer was found to be a major constituent of most of the tick material sampled and was identified as 1-octen-3-ol by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and by using antenna of the tsetse fly Glossina brevipalpis in gas chromatography-linked antennogram detection. Release of this compound increased during molt to adulthood and following mechanical disturbance of adult ticks. (R)-(-)-1-Octen-3-ol and racemate 1-octen-3-ol both induce an increase in upwind walk to the odor source from A. variegatum in an airstream on a servosphere. Volatiles from tick exuviae plus feces and from dead ticks also attracted A. variegatum, suggesting that 1-octen-3-ol may contribute to the aggregation response of Amblyomma spp. on such substrates. 2,6-Dichloroanisol and 2,5-dimethylpyrazine also were detected in volatiles from the ticks but induced no behavioral responses on the servosphere. The suspected tick pheromone component, 2,6-dichlorophenol, was detected from A. variegatum adults cut into pieces but had no effect on the behavior of A. variegatum on the servosphere at a range of doses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-486
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments—This research was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation

Funding Information:
(grants 31-37420.93 and 31-50658.97 entitled “Studies on the Chemical Ecology, Sensory Physiology and Behavior of Ticks”). We are indebted to the Hasselblad, Roche, and Sandoz Foundations, the Ciba-Geigy-Jubilaeums-Stiftung, and the Swiss Office for Education and Science for funding studies on tick sensory physiology and behavior at Neuchâtel. We thank Messrs P. Bula and J. Jon-czy of Novartis Centre de Recherche Santé Animale S.A., Fribourg, Switzerland, for supplying us with ticks, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, Siebersdorf Laboratories, Austria, for supplying us with tsetse flies. We also thank Dr. D. Joulain, Robertet S. A., Grasse, France for the gift of (R)-(1)-1-octen-3-ol. The authors are grateful to Mainak Das for help with the behavioral tests. This paper is part of the PhD thesis submitted by C. McMahon at the University of Neuchâtel.


  • 1-Octen-3-ol
  • Amblyomma variegatum
  • Ixodid tick
  • Tick attractant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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