January 13, 2015

Study Sheds Light on Chemicals That Insects Use to Communicate and Survive

Method devised by UC Riverside scientists isolates new chemicals that could be exploited to control pest species

Most insects are covered with a thin layer of hydrocarbon molecules as a waterproofing barrier.  Embedded in this layer are compounds that the insects use as chemical signals for a wide variety of functions such as communicating species and sex.  In insects such as ants that live in colonies, they also differentiate the different castes (e.g., workers, queens, and drones).