Discovery Shows that Insects Communicate via "Green IM" -A Galaxy Insight - The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel

Discovery Shows that Insects Communicate via

Discovery Shows that Insects Communicate via "Green IM" -A Galaxy Insight - The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel

Aboveground, leaf-eating insects prefer plants that have been occupied by subterranean root-eating insects. Subterranean insects emit chemical signals via the leaves of the plant, which warn the aboveground insects about their presence. This messaging allows spatially-separated insects to avoid each other, so they do not unintentionally compete for the same plant.

In recent years it has been discovered that different types of insect plants that also have subterranean residents and vice versa. It seems that a mechanism has developed via natural selection, which enables the subterranean and aboveground insects to detect each other. This avoids unnecessary competition.

Via the 'green telephone lines', subterranean insects can also communicate with a third party, namely the natural enemy of caterpillars. Parasitic wasps lay their eggs inside aboveground insects. It was also beneficial from the volatile signals emitted by the leaves, as these reveal where they can find a good host for their eggs. The communication between subterranean and aboveground insects has only been studied in a few systems. Posted by Casey Kazan.

Adapted from materials provided by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

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