is the study of the chemicals
involved in the interactions of living organisms
. It focuses on the production of and response to signaling molecules, toxins, and other organic compounds
. Chemical ecology is of particular importance among ants and other social insects--including bees, wasps, and termites--as a means of communication essential to social organization. In addition, this area of ecology deals with studies involving defensive chemicals which are utilized to deter potential predators, which may attack a wide variety of species.