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 Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

nachricht Snap, Digest, Respire
20.01.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bodyguards in the gut have a chemical weapon

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet

20.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Treated carbon pulls radioactive elements from water

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>