Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Gregarious Behavior in Insects

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1194

Many insects spend time in a group of conspecifics at some point during their lives. Insect groups can form passively, for example, through the common use of feeding, mating, oviposition, basking or shelter sites. Alternatively, insect aggregations may arise through the detection and active movement toward conspecifics or their associated cues. Cues used to detect the presence of conspecifics can be tactile, visual, auditory, olfactory or pheromonal, and may act alone or in combination.

Gregarious behavior is commonly associated with social insects that live in communal colonies (see Sociality of Insects), but it is also widespread among the non-social insects considered here. In these cases, insect groups of various sizes form under a myriad of conditions and are often interchangeably referred to as aggregations, associations, clumps and other such terms. Importantly, gregariousness is not limited solely to insects, but rather is widespread throughout the animal kingdom (e.g., fish...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia