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From Ancient Greek καιρός (kairós, advantage) + (phero)mone.



kairomone (plural kairomones)

  1. (biology) Any substance produced by an individual of one species that benefits the recipient which is of a different species but is harmful to the producer.
    • [1970 January, William L. Brown, “Allomones and kairomones: transspecific chemical messengers”, in BioScience, volume 20, number 1, page 21:
      Among these substances, we propose to designate two major functional groupings by the terms allomone and kairomone, chosen as intentional parallels to the term pheromone.]
    • 1973 December, L. B. Hendry, “Kairomone mediated host‐finding behavior in the parasitic wasp Orgilus lepidus”, in Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, volume 16, number 4, page 471:
      Host‐finding by the parasitic wasp Orgilus lepidus, a braconid parasite, is mediated by two kairomones present in the frass of the host insect, the potato tuberworm.
    • 2000, D. J. Brothers, “Associations of mutillid wasps (Hymenoptera, Mutillidae) with eusocial insects”, in Insectes Sociaux, volume 47, page 201:
      Mutillids apparently use odour signals (kairomones) while actively running in suitable locations for finding such hosts, and must spend much time searching, with little prospect of finding numerous hosts.

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