|Hoffmann, KH; Dettner, K; Tomaschko, K-H: Chemical signals in insects and other arthropods: from molecular structure to physiological functions, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 79(2), 344-356 (2006)|
Chemical communication is virtually universal among terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Chemical signals control the interactions of cells and organs (hormones) as well as the intra- (pheromones) and interspecific (allelochemicals) relationships between animals. The review considers three examples for chemical communication in insects and other arthropods on different hierarchic levels of biological organization, from the intraindividual level, where hormones control development and reproduction of the animals, to the interspecific level, where semiochemicals function as defense agents against predators or may be used for finding and recognizing food resources. Knowledge of the function of these systems and of the molecular structures of the chemical compounds involved may provide the basis for highly selective techniques of pest control.