A chicken feather hydrolysate prepared by heating feathers with 6N hydrochloric acid was highly attractive to the West Indian fruit fly, Anastrepha obliqua (Macquart), and the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew). In cage-top laboratory tests to determine the influence of pH on attraction, chicken feather hydrolysate, adjusted to pH 8.0, elicited the greatest response from adult A. obliqua; the attraction response was more than twice that observed for a 10% NuLure® (Miller Chemical and Fertilizer Corp., Hanover, PA) standard. Neutral or slightly acidic preparations of chicken feather hydrolysate were less effective. While A. ludens was less attractive in the laboratory tests to a 25% chicken feather hydrolysate than a 10% NuLure standard, A. obliqua appeared slightly more attracted to the hydrolysate than NuLure, but not significantly. In a 5-day field test using sterile released A. ludens, 4.5% chicken feather hydrolysate, adjusted to pH 8.0, caught almost 2.5 times more flies than 10% NuLure. Twenty-three volatile compounds that emanated from chicken feather hydrolysate were identified by headspace analysis using GC-MS and GC retention index comparison techniques. Among the volatiles were 7 ketones, 6 alcohols, 2 aldehydes, 2 chlorocarbons and 2 furans. At pH 8.0, the five most abundant compounds in decreasing order were 4-methyl-2-pentanone (76.3%), 4-methyl-2-pentanol (16.5%), 1-hexanol (3.1%), 1-heptanol (0.81%) and 2-butoxyethanol (0.64%).

This content is only available as a PDF.

Author notes

2 This paper reports the results of research only. Mention of commercial products in this paper does not constitute a recommendation by USDA.

3 Current address: Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Fine Chemical Team, CRICT, Teajeon, Korea 305-380.