The presence of a strong contact component in the sex and ovipositing behavior of the sheep blowfly Lucilia cuprina Wied. prompted an investigation into the chemical composition of the cuticular wax of the adult male and female flies as well as that of the blowfly puparia. Thin-layer chromatography indicated that the lipids in all the waxes examined comprise hydrocarbons, nonglyceryl esters, triglycerides, free fatty acids, and hydroxy compounds, probably diglycerides and monoglycerides. Phospholipids were not detected. Straight-and branched-chain saturated compounds, the latter often pre-dominating, are present in the hydrocarbon, free fatty acid, and ester fractions. Unsaturated molecules were absent. The hydrocarbons resemble those of the cricket to some extent, but the absence of unsaturated compounds is in striking contrast to both the cricket and the cockroach. Pheromones may be present in the low molecular weight fatty acids obtained on brief extraction of the insects.
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