One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A pheromone or other chemical that conveys a signal from one organism to another so as to modify the behaviour of the recipient organism.
- ‘They expected to confirm that grapefruit is highly attractive to the Mexican fruit fly, probably because a grapefruit gives off semiochemicals - a type of chemical signature that insects identify by smell.’
- ‘In particular, he is trying to determine whether genetically modified soybeans release the same semiochemicals as traditional soybean varieties to attract insects that parasitize stink bugs.’
- ‘Combined with a juvenile-hormone-type insecticide, such a semiochemical could potentially be used as an effective control method of this mosquito as a disease vector.’
- ‘Animals or even plants may emit different semiochemicals (including pheromones) which serve as sexual attractants, repellents to potential predators, or inducements to flight mode.’
- ‘The semiochemical is even strong enough to awaken lab sharks from tonic immobility, an induced, ‘death-feigning’ state during which researchers can go so far as to perform surgery without arousing the animal.’
1970s: from Greek ēmeion ‘sign’ + chemical.
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