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 Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>