Defense in Thrips: Forbidding Fruitiness of a Lactone

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Science  15 Apr 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4594, pp. 335-336
DOI: 10.1126/science.220.4594.335


Expulsion of anal fluid from the upturned abdomen was demonstrated to serve a defensive function in the thrips Bagnalliella yuccae. An allomone in the anal exudate was identified as γ-decalactone, a fruity-smelling compound that repelled potential predators. Chemical defenses may contribute to the ability of thrips to maintain large aggregations.