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119 chromatograms (GC-FID) of the cuticular hydrocarbons of four Polistes paper wasp species (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistinae)

Cite this dataset

Legan, Andrew; Chen, Arthur; Fuchs, Matthieu; Sheehan, Michael (2022). 119 chromatograms (GC-FID) of the cuticular hydrocarbons of four Polistes paper wasp species (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistinae) [Dataset]. Dryad.


This dataset includes gas chromatography coupled flame ionization detection (GC-FID) data containing cuticular hydrocarbon peaks sampled by whole body hexane washes of female and male adult paper wasps: Polistes dominula (22 female, 3 male), Polistes exclamans (14 female, 24 male), Polistes fuscatus (22 female, 18 male), Polistes metricus (10 female, 6 male).


Adult wasps were freeze-killed and stored in a -80°C freezer until chemical sampling. Frozen wasps were washed with 2 ml hexane for 1 min to isolate cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). Hexane was evaporated under a gentle nitrogen stream, and the concentrated CHCs were dissolved in 400 μl hexane and transferred to an open top screw cap autosampler vial with PTFE septum. Chromatograms were generated using GC-FID (Shimadzu 2014) with a 30 m DB-5 capillary column (diameter 0.25 mm, film thickness 0.25 μm). Linear alkane standards with carbon lengths at 1-carbon intervals from C7 to C40 were also run, reported as ASCII format in file ALKANE_LADDER.txt as well as a tab delimited table indicating the compound identities for standard peak retention times ALKANE_LADDER_ANNOTATED.txt. 1 μl of each sample was injected. The injection port temperature was set to 300°C, and the injection was performed in splitless mode. The inert helium carrier gas flow was maintained with constant pressure of 96.2 kPa with a column flow rate of 0.48 ml/min and a purge flow rate of 3 ml/min. The FID temperature was set to 340°C and the sampling rate of data acquisition to 40 msec. Data acquisition ended at 53.33 min (C39 is the last alkane standard with a sizable peak in ALKANE_STANDARD.txt). The temperature program of the oven was set as follows: (1) from 50°C to 150°C at 30°C per min, held for 1 min. (2) from 150°C to 280°C at 5°C per min. (3) from 280°C to 320°C at 5°C per min, held for 15 min. Please read the README file for details of file contents.

Usage notes

I recommend using the open source chromatographic file converter "chromConverter" ( and the chromatographic data analysis package "chromatographR" ( developed by Ethan Bass and available on GitHub and CRAN.


National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, Award: DGE-1650441

Oak Ridge Associated Universities