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Pheromones and behaviour-modifying chemicals in African locusts and grasshoppers

In locust and grasshoppers, besides optical, tactile and acoustic signals, chemical communication plays an important role between conspecific individuals. Considering the aggregation behaviour in the desert locust 'Schistocerca gregaria' (Forsk.), several physiological processes are influenced by chemical factors. Acceleration of maturation was observed in grouped adult immature insects by volatile compounds produced by mature males. Egg-pod deposition is stimulated in grouped virgin females, separated from males by a perforated foil. Reduction of melanization was observed in nymphs reared in isolation. In olfactometer experiments a positive reaction to stage-specific volatiles (releaser pheromones) was observed in both nymphs and adults. All volatile substances elicited an antennal reaction. Laboratory and field test will show in which combination the chemicals can be used for disturbing gregarious behaviour.

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Universitaet Hannover
Herrenhaeuser Strasse 2
30419 Hannover
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