Evidence for origin of insect sex pheromones: presence in food plants

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Science  04 Apr 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4183, pp. 59-63
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114341


Compounds identified as sex attractant pheromones in a number of phytophagous insects were found in a variety of host plants. These agents vary in chemical composition in different plant species, which suggests that dietary factors may provide an evolutionary mechanism for diversification of certain insect species. A theoretical framework to explain this phenomenon is postulated on the basis of experiments with the oak leaf roller moth.