Alkadienes and Alkatrienes

Relative to alkanes and alkenes, alkadienes and alkatrienes are much less common especially within the social insects. The introduction of more double bonds increases the structural complexity of the molecule; hence it is not surprising to find these compounds being involved in communication. For example, 9,19-alkadienes are oxidized and cleaved then act as sex pheromones of the yellow-headed spruce sawfly, Pikonema alaskensis (Bartelt et al. 1982) and two 7,11-alkadienes from D. melanogaster are involved in stimulating male courtship of females (Antony and Jallon 1982). The major female sex pheromone from the almond seed wasp, Eurytoma amygdali, was identified as a mixture of two dienes, 6,9-tricosadiene and 6,9-pentacosadiene (Krokos et al. 2001; Mazomenos et al. 2004). An example of an alkatriene is found in the arctiid moth, Utethesia ornatrix, which uses 3,6,9-henei-cosatriene as short range orientation cues for males (Conner et al. 1980). Additional examples can be found in the extensive review by Lockey (1988).

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