Roles and effects of environmental carbon dioxide in insect life

Pablo G. Guerenstein, John G. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a ubiquitous sensory cue that plays multiple roles in insect behavior. In recent years understanding of the well-known role of CO2 in foraging by hematophagous insects (e.g., mosquitoes) has grown, and research on the roles of CO2 cues in the foraging and oviposition behavior of phytophagous insects and in behavior of social insects has stimulated interest in this area of insect sensory biology. This review considers those advances, as well as some of the mechanistic bases of the modulation of behavior by CO2 and important progress in our understanding of the detection and CNS processing of CO2 information in insects. Finally, this review briefly addresses how the ongoing increase in atmospheric CO2 levels may affect insect life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-178
Number of pages18
JournalAnnual review of entomology
StatePublished - 2008


  • Antennal lobe
  • Behavior
  • Herbivory
  • Olfaction
  • Oviposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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