Towards the identification of the alarm pheromone of the common wasp, Vespula vulgaris

Ashraf El Sayed *1, Max Suckling 1

1 Plant & Food Research Canterbury Agriculture & Science Centre, Gerald St, Lincoln 7608, New Zealand

The venom of the queen common wasp, Vespula vulgaris was examined by Gas chromatography/electroantennographic detection (GC/EAD) and Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS). Two compounds from the queen venom consistently elicited an antennal response in both males and workers. The two compounds were synthesised and their identity positively confirmed by GC/MS analysis on two different capillary columns. One of these compounds is novel and described for the first time from any source. These compounds were tested in field trapping trials in a beech forest for the attraction and repellence of social wasps. Results will be discussed in this presentation.

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