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 Cancer cachexia: Extracellular ligand helps to prevent muscle loss
25.02.2020 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

nachricht The genetic secret of night vision
25.02.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Turbomachine expander offers efficient, safe strategy for heating, cooling

25.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

The seismicity of Mars

25.02.2020 | Earth Sciences

Cancer cachexia: Extracellular ligand helps to prevent muscle loss

25.02.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>