The evidence for intraspecies chemical communication in insects is reviewed, with emphasis on those studies where known organic compounds have been implicated. These signal-carrying chemicals are known as pheromones. There are two distinct types of pheromones, releasers and primers. Releaser pheromones initiate immediate behavioral responses in insects upon reception, while primer pheromones cause physiological changes in an animal that ultimately result in a behavior response. Chemically identified releaser pheromones are of three basic types: those which cause sexual attraction, alarm behavior, and recruitment. Sex pheromones release the entire repertoire of sexual behavior.
Traditional chemical industry uses methods that often require hazardous chemicals and might have difficulties producing some types of complex chemical compounds, such as insect pheromones for trapping pests. In the cell factories of the future, these compounds could be synthesized with the help of insect enzymes produced in plants or yeasts. By studying insect genes and their products, scientists can learn how insects survive, reproduce and attack enemies, as well as uncover information about the diversity of insect colours, shapes and roles in nature. Knowledge gleaned from research on insects could be applied to a wide range of processes, including pest control and bio-production of chemicals ranging from cosmetics to industrial lubricants. Scientists and naturalists had long sought to understand how insect species can attract their partners over distances of hundreds of meters or even kilometres, in complete darkness and without any audible signals. Finally, they discovered sex pheromones — chemical compounds that insects release to attract the opposite sex. Sexual attraction has been particularly well-studied in moths, in which females of almost all species produce pheromones to attract males for mating.
Definition of pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals produced as messengers that affect the behavior of other individuals of insects or other animals. They are usually wind borne but may be placed on soil, vegetation or various items.
Journal of Ethology. Application of the kinetic theory of gas molecules to male zigzagging orientation, which is assumed as repeated encounter between sex pheromone puff and a flying male moth, derived a linear relationship between the number of turnings and the distance from the source where male began repeated turnings. Similar results are also obtained by computer simulation.