Drosophila species exhibit polymorphism in female pheromonal cuticular hydrocarbons, with 7-monoenes produced in Drosophila simulans and 7,11-dienes in most populations of Drosophila melanogaster (5,9-dienes in several African populations). A female-biased desaturase, desatF, expressed only in D. melanogaster is involved in the synthesis of 7,11-dienes. We investigated the role of desatF in 5,9-diene flies. We constructed a 5,9-diene strain knock-down for desatF and showed that desatF is involved in 5,9-diene formation. We also studied D. melanogaster/D. simulans hybrids. These hybrid females produced dienes and received normal courtship from D. melanogaster males, but copulation success was reduced. With D. simulans males, courtship was decreased and no copulation occurred. Hybrids with a chromosomal deletion of the D. melanogaster desatF gene had no dienes and received normal courtship from D. simulans males; depending on the D. simulans parental strain, 7-19% of them succeeded in mating. D. simulans desatF promoter region shows 21-23% gaps and 86-89% identity with D. melanogaster promoter region, the coding region 93-94% identity, depending on the strain. These differences could explain the functional polymorphism of desatF observed between both species, contributing to different cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, that constitute an effective barrier between species.