1989 – Jerrold Meinwald

A Chemist’s View of Chemical Warfare, Courtship, and Mate Selection Among Insects

Insects often are defended by a wide variety of organic chemical weapons, some of which they synthesize and some of which they acquire from their food. Many insects also utilize organic chemicals (pheromones) for intraspecific communication. In the cases of some lepidoptera and beatles, we have been able to establish an unanticipated relationship among the compounds used as “aphrodisiac” pheromones. These studies suggest a possible pathway for the evolution of a chemical signaling system.