Course detail

LET5825 - Chemical Ecology and Insect Behaviour

Credit hours

In-class work
per week
per week
15 weeks
120 hours

Jose Mauricio Simoes Bento

To provide students with basic and applied knowledge on chemical ecology and insect behaviour, with
hands-on lab or field lessons on all topics. Moreover, to enable a critical view on the influence of the
evolutionary process, from a broad perspective, in the behaviour of insects and their interactions with
other organisms and the environment.

Theoretical part 1. History. 2. Behavioural basis. 3. Signs and reception. 4. Mechanisms and evolution of
communication in insects 5. Chemical communication in insects. Types. Production and reception of
odours in insects. Pheromones and allelochemicals. Factors that control the response of insects to
semiochemicals. 6. Herbivores and plants: coevolutionary strategies related to behaviour. 7. Chemical
signals in plants and their relation with insects. 8. Reproductive behaviour in insects. 9. Mating
strategies. 10. Social behaviour of insects. Practical part 1. Methods of extraction and isolation of
pheromones and allelochemicals. 2. Building and use of equipment for observing insect behaviour and chemical ecology. 3. Observation, description and quantification of insect behaviour. 4. Methodologies and use of pheromones and allelochemicals in the field. 5. Notions of identification and synthesis of semiochemicals. 6. Conduction of research projects in behavioural and chemical ecology of insects. 7. Interpretation of data in studies of behavioural and chemical ecology of insects.

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