Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Marking Pheromones

  • Ronald J. Prokopy
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1730

A marking pheromone is a chemical compound (or mixture of compounds) emitted by an insect that advertises the past or current presence of the insect or its progeny at or in association with a valued resource. The type of resource may be food, an egglaying site, or a site of shelter.

Some kinds of insects foraging for food save valuable time and energy and improve foraging efficiency by following a trail of marking pheromone deposited by conspecifics that have discovered a quality food resource. Other kinds of insects foraging for food or egglaying sites avoid investing time, energy, or progeny at depleted or overcrowded resources by rejecting locales scented with marking pheromone. A few kinds of insects use pheromone to mark territories around nests that serve as sites of shelter.

Marking pheromones may be released from a variety of endocrine or exocrine glands of insects as well as from other structures associated with digestive, reproductive and locomotory systems. Most marking...

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald J. Prokopy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA