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Science 302 (5644): 437-438

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

The Chemistry of Sexual Deception in an Orchid-Wasp Pollination System

Florian P. Schiestl,1* Rod Peakall,1 Jim G. Mant,1* Fernando Ibarra,2 Claudia Schulz,2 Stephan Franke,2 Wittko Francke2{dagger}

Abstract: The "sexually deceptive" orchid Chiloglottis trapeziformis attracts males of its pollinator species, the thynnine wasp Neozeleboria cryptoides, by emitting a unique volatile compound, 2-ethyl-5-propylcyclohexan-1,3-dione, which is also produced by female wasps as a male-attracting sex pheromone.

1 School of Botany and Zoology, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia.
2 Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King Platz 6, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany.

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* Present address: Geobotanical Institute, ETH Zürch, Zollikerstrasse 107, CH-8008 Zürich, Switzerland.

{dagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: francke{at}

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