Biological Responses of Atta texana to Its Alarm Pheromone and the Enantiomer of the Pheromone

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Science  22 Feb 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4126, pp. 760-762
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4126.760


S-(+)-4-Methyl-3-heptanone is the principal alarm pheromone of Atta texana. The dextrorotatory form of the ketone has also been identified from Atta cephalotes. Both enantiomers have been synthesized in high optical purity; Atta texana is more responsive to the (+) enantiomer than to the (-) form. These results implicate a chiral receptor system.