Behavior and Integration

  • Marion O. Harris
  • Stephen P. Foster


Chemicals are involved in mediating a wide range of insect behaviors, from communication between conspecific individuals to the recognition of specific features of the environment, such as a food source. Anyone who has observed the effect of a chemical on the behavior of an insect cannot fail to be impressed by the apparent power of the chemical. Metcalf and Metcalf (1992) related how their interest in chemical ecology was stimulated upon observing the extraordinary response of the oriental fruit fly to the plant kairomone methyl eugenol. “We vividly recall walking into our bedroom where a handkerchief with a trace of methyl eugenol was left, to find a screened window several meters away literally black with bemused Dacus dorsalis males.”


Chemical Stimulus Courtship Behavior Odor Source Male Moth Flight Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marion O. Harris
    • 1
  • Stephen P. Foster
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant ScienceMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  2. 2.The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand LtdPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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