Anointing Chemicals and Hematophagous Arthropods

Responses by Ticks and Mosquitoes to Citrus (Rutaceae) Peel Exudates and Monoterpene Components

Paul J. Weldon & John F. Carroll & Matthew Kramer &
Robert H. Bedoukian & Russell E. Coleman &
Ulrich R. Bernier


Some birds and mammals roll on or wipe themselves with the fruits or leaves of Citrus spp. or other Rutaceae.    These anointing behaviors, as with anointing in general, are thought to function in the topical acquisition of chemicals that deter consumers, including hematophagous arthropods.    We measured avoidance and other responses by nymphal lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) and adult female yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) to lemon peel exudate and to 24 volatile monoterpenes (racemates and isomers), including hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes, acetates, ketones, and oxides, present in citrus fruits and leaves in order to examine their potential as arthropod deterrents… Mosquitoes confined in chambers with chemically treated feeding membranes landed and fed less, and flew more, when exposed to the peel exudate than to controls, and when exposed to aldehydes, oxides, or alcohols versus most hydrocarbons or controls….

The full article is not available for use on our website.   If you wish to read more, it is available for purchase at:

SpringerLink – Journal of Chemical Ecology , Volume 37, Number 4


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