May 01, 2010

Everyday chemical warfare

Dicronorhina derbyana bellyI just finished reading For Love of Insects by Thomas Eisner. A very enjoyable book about how insects defend themselves chemically (or otherwise), from the explosive compounds of bombardier beetles over prey management strategies among spiders to the chains of chemical donations among certain moths. Highly recommended.

The book really made me realize just how much chemical interactions are going on in the natural environment. We humans tend to think of nature as "clean" with a few noxious exceptions, but it is more likely that we just don't notice the everyday warfare between plants, animals and fungi due to our size.

Posted by Anders3 at May 1, 2010 06:53 PM