Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anti-perfume - the male butterfly’s gift to his partner

23.02.2004


Pieris butterflies are not like all other butterflies. Both sexes agree about sex. In a dissertation about olfactory communication, Johan Andersson, a scientist at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), Sweden, presents exciting new findings about a joint effort that provides an alternative view of the theory of sexual selection.



The Western man gives his partner an engagement ring when he wants to show the world that this woman is spoken for. When mating, the male white-winged rape-seed butterfly instead gives his partner methyl salicylate-a turn-you-off odor that serves the same purpose. The next male butterfly needs only a second to realize that the race is run and flies on to the next female.

The idea of a so-called anti-aphrodisiac has been known for some time, but it is only now that it is possible to show how the system works in its entirety, exactly what substances are involved and above all that the whole thing is a collaborative effort between male and female and not a conflict.


This will call into question the theory of sexual selection that is based on the idea that sex is a conflict between the male’s and the female’s different strategies in mating. The male attempts to fertilize as many females as possible, and the female, who is making a greater commitment in mating, is more frugal in her selection and must therefore protect herself from bad propositions.

Anti-aphrodisiacs benefit both. The male, of course, because no other males will mount the female while the substance is active, but the female also has time to lay her eggs in peace. The time she needs for this has proven to be exactly the time the anti-aphrodisiac is in effect.

What good is this knowledge? It is indeed pure research, but already applications lie just around the corner. Pieris butterflies, or rather their larvae are a major pest in many kinds of plant cultivation. The larvae eat cabbage, rape-seed, and turnips, and today fields are sprayed with various pesticides to kill these larvae. In the future it might be enough to expose the butterflies to the natural turn-off substance. There wouldn’t be many offspring made, at least not right there.

Jacob Seth-Fransson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kth.se/aktuellt/press/pressmeddelanden/2004/200402180600.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht MicroRNA helps cancer evade immune system
19.09.2017 | Salk Institute

nachricht Ruby: Jacobs University scientists are collaborating in the development of a new type of chocolate
18.09.2017 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>