Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 388–398 | Cite as

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

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


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.


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



We thank Dr. Mockford for identifying Cerastipsocus sivorii; Thiago Santos, Tiago F. Carrijo, and Danilo E. de Oliveira for identifying the termite species used in the experiment; Thiago M. Del-Corso for helping in the field and laboratory work, and Drs. James Costa, Colette Rivault, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on an early draft of the manuscript. This study was supported by grants from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (02/00381-0, 03/05427-0, 03/05418-1).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno A. Buzatto
    • 1
  • Gustavo S. Requena
    • 2
  • Glauco Machado
    • 3
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-graduação em EcologiaUniversidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de BiologiaCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Ecologia, Programa de Pós-graduação em EcologiaUniversidade de São Paulo, Instituto de BiociênciasSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de EcologiaInstituto de BiociênciasSão PauloBrazil

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