Chemical Communication in the Gregarious Psocid Cerastipsocus sivorii (Psocoptera: Psocidae)

Bruno A. Buzatto, Gustavo S. Requena, Glauco Machado

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The objectives of this study were: (1) to test the existence of an aggregation pheromone in the gregarious psocid Cerastipsocus sivorii; (2) to compare the attractiveness of odors from different aggregations; (3) to test whether nymphs are able to chemically recognize damage-released alarm signals. In a choice experiment conducted in the laboratory, we showed that psocids are able to detect chemical cues from groups of conspecifics. Laboratory experiments also showed that nymphs are capable of chemically recognizing the aggregations where they came from. Finally, in a field experiment, most aggregations dispersed when exposed to the body fluids of a crushed conspecific, but no aggregations dispersed upon exposure to a crushed termite. The implications of these results for the evolution of sociality in psocopterans are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-398
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggregation pheromone
  • alarm signal
  • damage-released pheromone
  • defense
  • kin recognition
  • social behavior


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