There is now a considerable literature on chemical ecology, which had its beginnings in the study of insect pheromones. This beginning was possible only by combining the disciplines and techniques of biology and chemistry. For a biologist, it is difficult to understand the time frames of analytical and synthetic chemistry. A compound may take days to characterize and be available in minutes from a bottle on the shelf, or it may take years to characterize and synthesize. Chemists have a similar frustration: after an intense programme of work, the insect in question may not emerge for many months.
study are, however, The rewards of integrated interdisciplinary considerable, because they allow us to understand many facets of insect behaviour and consequently to control that behaviour for our own ends. In this book, we have set out to explain the results of research from chemical and biological perspectives, and see how the knowledge gained has led to novel techniques that can be used in insect pest management and insect control. An important part of understanding insect chemical ecology involves the understanding not only of new concepts but of the vocabularies used by scientists specializing in different fields. It will be clear that the three sections of this book have been written by three different people: an insect behaviourist, an organic chemist and a biologist in industry.