Spiders

Spiders are generally solitary animals, but they still have to find mates. A few sex attractants of spiders have been discovered. That of Linyphia triangularis, female produced, is a mixture of (i?)-3-hydroxybutyric acid and its dimer (i?)-3-[(i?)-3-hydroxybutyryloxy]-butyric acid (Figure 3.35). Another female attractant, from Cupiennius salei, is (S)-1,1'-dimethyl citrate (Figure 3.35). This pheromone is placed on the silk thread. On this small sample it has been suggested that spider phero-mones may be adapted from primary metabolites. On the other hand, a desert spider Agelenopsis aperta uses 8-methyl-2-nonanone, which is more like a hymenopteran pheromone, to attract males. It is suggested this is probably made from leucine, via isovaleric acid, followed by chain extension and decarboxylation. 6-Methyl-3-heptanone was present with it in the spider but not pheromonally active.

Figure 3.35 Three female-produced sex pheromones of spiders. The first is the dimer of the simple metabolite 3-hydroxy butyric acid and the second is from the primary metabolite citric acid. The third, 8-methyl-2-nonanone, is rather more like some insect pheromones
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