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The hydrocarbon components of Asian and German cockroaches showed consistent differences by gas chromatography (GC) that did not depend on geographic origin, sex or age, and that did reliably identify individuals of these otherwise morphologically similar species. European honey bee workers and drones showed consistent GC patterns. Race-specific similarities in GC patterns were present in Africanized workers and drones from Central and South America. Principal components analysis separated data from different races. Comb waxes reflected the genetic ancestry of the workers that produced that wax. GC data was used to construct phenetic comparisons of 26 species and subspecies of tsetse flies using dried museum and fresh specimens.