Data from: The role of cuticular hydrocarbons in mate recognition in Drosophila suzukii
Snellings, Yannick et al. (2019), Data from: The role of cuticular hydrocarbons in mate recognition in Drosophila suzukii, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.fc0m627
Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) play a central role in the chemical communication of many insects. In Drosophila suzukii, an economically important pest insect, very little is known about chemical communication and the possible role of CHCs. In this study, we identified 60 CHCs of Drosophila suzukii and studied their changes in function of age (maturation), sex and interactions with the opposite sex. We demonstrate that age (maturation) is the key factor driving changes in the CHC profiles. We then test the effect on courtship behaviour and mating of six CHCs, five of which were positively associated with maturation and one negatively. The results of these experiments demonstrate that four of the major CHC peaks with a chain length of 23 carbons, namely 9-tricosene (9-C23:1), 7-tricosene (7-C23:1), 5-tricosene (5-C23:1) and tricosane (n-C23), negatively regulated courtship and mating, even though all these compounds were characteristic for sexually mature flies. We then go on to show that this effect on courtship and mating is likely due to the disruption of the natural ratios in which these hydrocarbons occur in Drosophila suzukii. Overall, these results provide key insights into the cuticular hydrocarbon signals that play a role in D. suzukii mate recognition.