Division of Insect Sciences

Insect Interaction Research Unit

Elucidation of the mechanisms controlling pest and natural enemy behavior

 Many pests, their natural enemies, and other insects live together in agroecosystems which leads to various interactions such as competition for resources and/or habitats, predation, parasitism and mating behavior. These interactions are essential for insects to survive, but conversely we can utilize these relationships to control agricultural insect pests.
 In the Insect Interaction Research Unit, we analyze insect behavior and inter- and/or intra-specific interactions by identifying semiochemicals, or chemical substances that act as signals. We also develop the genetic markers to conduct molecular phylogenetic analysis among species and strains and apply them for population genetics.
 It is expected that this fundamental research will lead to the development of new insect pest control methods in the future.

Field trapping of the white grab beetle, Dasylepida ishigakiensis, by a trap baited with synthetic sex pheromone

An adult pirate bug, Orius sauteri, preying on Thrips palmi