What do houseflies really like?

curt wong cwong at tir.com
Mon Jul 26 00:40:23 EDT 1999

rjb wrote in message <7ndkvi$ov0$1 at bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>...
>I am only guessing about the sulfur compounds being what attracts the
>Seems unlikely to me that they can detect CH4, C3H8 etc because these
>molecules are not very reactive.  A sensor generally binds the molecule to
>receptor site and CH4 doesn't have a handle.
Speaking as a chemist/scanning electron microscopist with an interest in
bugs since childhood (and one entomology class 23 years ago) I was unaware
that  flies are attracted to methane, ethane, propane, etc., but your sulfur
compound speculation sounds reasonable.
I have access to unscented and scented hydrocarbons.  This might be an
interesting experiment for me to do sometime with my 9 yr old daughter.  If
I do, we'll be sure to publish here first.  Now accepting grants.  Please
make checks payable to "cash."
Does a molecule necessarily have to be *reactive* to be an attractant?  By
reactive, are you referring to *containing a functional group?*  Seems that
most pheromones, from my limited knowledge, fall into this category.  Are
there any alkane (saturated hydrocarbon) pheromones out there in the bug
This is my first post here.  Please forgive be for jumping in without having
read any of the prior posts to this thread.

More information about the Leps-l mailing list