Identification of (Z)-4-tridecene from defensive secretion of green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea

Junwei Zhu, Rikard C. Unelius, Kye Chung Park, Samuel A. Ochieng, John J. Obrycki, Thomas C. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We report the identification of a defensive secretion from the green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea. By using combined gas chromatography-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD), we found one major compound in the solvent extract of this secretion that elicited a significant EAD response from the antenna. Based upon its characteristic fragments from gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis, the compound was identified as a tridecene. Dimethyldisulfide derivatization suggested that a double bond was located between positions 4 and 5 in the carbon chain. Thus, the compound was tentatively identified as a 4-tridecene. Coinjection of the extract with a mixture of the Z or E form of the synthetic 4-tridecene revealed that the unknown was (Z)-4-tridecene. EAG dose-responses showed a direct correlation to dose. Single sensillum recordings from sensilla trichodea situated on the antennae suggested the presence of receptor neurons specifically responding to this compound. An arrestment behavior was observed when tested in the Y-tube olfactometer. Preliminary field trapping results indicate that the compound is an antagonist to attraction. The avoidance behavior of predatory ants, observed when tested with the synthetic compound of this secretion further suggested a defensive function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2421-2434
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments—The authors would like to express their thanks to Bess Lewis, Anna Keyte, and Brad Tucker for rearing the predatory insects and to Marcus Ruda for helping with the chemical synthesis. We also thank Tracey Pepper for assisting on scanning electron microscope at the ISU Bessey Microscopy Facility. This project was supported by a grant (98-72) from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Journal Paper No. J-18702 of the Iowa Agricultural and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa, Project No. 3437, and supported by Hatch Act and State of Iowa Funds.


  • (Z)-4-tridecene
  • Alarm pheromone
  • Chrysoperla carnea
  • Chrysopidae
  • Defensive secretion
  • Electroantennography
  • Green lacewing
  • Neuroptera
  • Single sensillum recording

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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