Cotton Insect Biology/Ecology
John A. Byers

Plant and Insect Chemicals Affecting Insect Behavior

Pheromones are chemicals (usually a blend of two to four compounds) that are produced by a species that have a behavioral or physiological effect on the same species. Many pheromones have been discovered and characterized for insects. The behavioral chemicals (semiochemicals) that include pheromones are only partly known for pest species and very little is known about many hundreds of thousands of insect species. However, most chemical ecologists would agree that practically all insects use behavioral chemicals to find and recognize their food and mates. There is no example where a species was investigated in depth and no semiochemicals were implicated in the biology. Some insects are known to use multiple chemicals for multiple functions - and it seems that the more we know about an insect, the more chemicals they use in different contexts. Recently, more focus has been put on discovering and elucidating the semiochemicals that function between species, such as plant volatiles attractive or repellent to insects as well as other signals between species.


Chemical Ecology Quiz Semiochemicals Quiz
Optimal Fractionation and Bioassay Java applet Bioassays
Moth Pheromones Java applet Moth Chemicals
Trends in Chemical Ecology Interactive Trends
J. Chem. Ecol. Citations Insect Pheromone Citations

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