Chemical mimicry
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Chemical Mimicry. Submitted by: Sean Brady Matthew Forte Michael Mourouzis Lenora Overstreet Dana Wilson. Chemical Mimicry. The use of chemical signals may be the dominant form of communication in the insect world.

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Chemical Mimicry

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Chemical mimicry

Chemical Mimicry

Submitted by:

Sean Brady

Matthew Forte

Michael Mourouzis

Lenora Overstreet

Dana Wilson


Chemical mimicry1

Chemical Mimicry

  • The use of chemical signals may be the dominant form of communication in the insect world.

  • Many insects have evolved highly complex and specific chemical signals with which to communicate within their own species.

  • It is not surprising that other organisms have evolved the ability to exploit these communication systems in order to fulfill their own needs.


Chemical mimicry2

Chemical Mimicry

  • One method of exploitation involves mimicking the chemical signals used by insects.

  • In a system of chemical mimicry, a single compound or a mixture of compounds is produced by an organism to elicit a specific behavioral response by an organism of a different species.


Chemical mimicry3

Chemical Mimicry

  • Chemical mimicry, which is used by vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and fungi, can be divided into unique categories based on the outcome of the relationship.

  • These different classes include aggressive mimicry, reproductive mimicry, dispersal mimicry, group mimicry, and predator mimicry.


Chemical mimicry4

Chemical Mimicry

  • One of the most intriguing systems is the use of chemical mimicry by plants in order to attract insect pollinators.

  • Most pollination systems have evolved as mutualistic relationships in which both organisms are rewarded:


Chemical mimicry5

Chemical Mimicry

  • the insect obtaining pollen, nectar, waxes or scents from the flower and the plant achieving reproduction through the transfer of its pollen by the insect.


Chemical mimicry6

Chemical Mimicry

  • Chemical mimicry has evolved in insect/flower systems where no reward is received by the insect. The plant, which is the sole benefactor, lures the insect to its flower by producing specific scents. These odors may mimic insect pheromones, food sources, brood sites or prey odors.


Chemical mimicry7

Chemical Mimicry

  • In addition to this, numerous examples of pheromone and brood-site mimicry have been observed. The similarities in compounds produced by flowers and their insect pollinators provides some possible explanations for differences that have been found between insect and plant-produced compounds. It is also true that possible evolutionary patterns for various classes of chemical mimicry exist.


Chemical mimicry8

Chemical Mimicry

  • It is true that some flowers mimic the odors of dung and/or carrion to attract insects (mostly beetles and flies) for pollination.

  • These systems are widespread in the plant kingdom and have been extensively reported on. This type of relationship is found in ten plant families (Annonaceae, Araceae, Aristolochiaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Burmanniaceae, Hydnoraceae, Orchidaceae, Rafflesiaceae, Sterculiaceae, and Taccaceae)

that stinks badly!!


Chemical mimicry9

Chemical Mimicry

  • In conclusion, many plants and animals use repellent chemicals to deter predation.

  • Millipedes secrete hydrocyanic acid when disturbed.

  • Some beetles squirt potential predators with such mixtures as 85% acetic acid or 40% formic acid.

  • The discharge of the skunk is another familiar example.

  • But what if you have a powerful defensive weapon but no potential predator notices until it has launched an attack?

Those things look scary!


Chemical mimicry10

Chemical Mimicry

  • So, let’s think….

  • Recall all that we have learned about the different types of mimicry presented in this chapter…..

  • Describe the type of mimicry that you feel would best analyze this situation….

  • Put this in your notes and ask questions if you need to because this will be important on your test….Good Luck!!!!


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