TitleChemically mediated sexual behavior of the brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsGreene, MJ, Mason, RT
Type of ArticleJournal Article

The brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) is an invasive pest species responsible for serious economic and ecological damage on the Pacific island of Guam, including the extirpation or extinction of nine native forest birds. Bioassays utilizing the courtship and mating behaviors of the brown tree snake were developed to begin isolating the female sex pheromone of this species. Filter paper treated with hexane extracts of female skin and solvent controls were presented to captive males in their home cages. Males displayed significantly more courtship behaviors to extracts than controls. These lipid extracts were subsequently fractionated by column chromatography. Fractions and controls were presented to males in a randomly selected sequence and male courtship behavior assayed. Significant differences in the number of courtship behaviors displayed to each of the fractions and the controls were observed. Fractions 1 through 4 each elicited courtship behavior from males, with fraction 4 eliciting courtship behaviors in 6 of 8 trials, while controls elicited no courtship behaviors from males.

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