Pheromones of True Bugs
The Heteroptera, or true bugs, comprise a large and widely distributed group of sucking insects, with about 38,000 described species, some of which are important pests of crops. True bugs are characterized by well-developed scent glands, the contents of which provide an effective chemical defense against predation. Typical defensive compounds include short-chain alcohols, aldehydes, and esters, (E)-2-alkenals, 4-oxo-(E)-2-alkenals, alkanes, monoterpenes, and aromatic alcohols and aldehydes. The chemistry of bug pheromones is more complex, and includes simple esters and monoterpenes, linear, monocyclic, and multicyclic sesquiterpenoids, and novel acetogenins. This chapter summarizes the identification and synthesis of these true bug semiochemicals. Overall, the identification and synthesis of chemicals produced by bugs has greatly outpaced our understanding of their specific roles as signals mediating bug behavior.
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