Host-Seeking Stimulant for Parasite of Corn Earworm: Isolation, Identification, and Synthesis

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Science  27 Aug 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 3999, pp. 842-843
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.3999.842


13-Methylhentriacontane has been identified in the feces and larvae of the corn earworm, Heliothis zea (Boddie), as the major constituent that triggers the short-range host-seeking response of the parasite Microplitis croceipes (Cresson). This chemical, the first found that mediates the complex host-parasite relation, could upgrade present efforts to use parasites for insect control. Bioassay of closely related compounds indicated that the structural requirements for activity are remarkably specific.