Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Multifunctional Semiochemicals

  • Murray S. Blum
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_4721

A diversity of factors is undoubtedly correlated with the pronounced success of insects in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. Significantly, in the last several decades, identification of a great variety of natural products (chemical compounds) has resulted in an awareness of the remarkable versatility with which insects use the products of their exocrine glands (external secretions) to manipulate intra- and interrelationships. A multitude of research investigations has demonstrated that insects and related arthropods have converted exocrine products to serve multiple functions in diverse contexts. In addition, it has become clear that exocrine secretions or their individual compounds, which previously had been identified with a single function, often possess several roles which are highly adaptive for their producers. In short, insects may exploit the secretions of a single gland for unrelated diverse roles which can include defense, sexual attraction, and communication.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murray S. Blum
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA