The tick uses several different pheromones as it goes about its daily business. Without pheromones, the tick (many of which have no eyes) would live in a dark world. One pheromone appropriately called…
The tick uses several different pheromones as it goes about its daily business. Without pheromones, the tick (many of which have no eyes) would live in a dark world. One pheromone appropriately called an assembly pheromone helps the tick attract the company of other ticks. When the tick is lonely, it releases this pheromone onto the surfaces it touches. Other ticks who happen to pass over these chemically paved surfaces stop what they are doing and cluster together. By promoting strength in numbers, the assembly pheromone is thought to protect the tick.
Mating among ticks is facilitated by the sex pheromone 2,6 dichlorophenol (2,6-DCP). The female releases 2,6-DCP as she feeds on a host. In response, males feeding nearby become excited. They stop eating, detach themselves from the host and go in search of the female, who, filled with blood, can now produce eggs.
The female Douglas fir beetle emits pheromonal signals designed to attract males. First, she locates the fir tree, her preferred home, by its scent and bores a hole into it. Once ensconced, she sends out a pheromone that announces her sexual availability. When male beetles detect the pheromone, they begin to y toward its origin. Upon arriving at the female, the V. males shut down her pheromone production with a special acoustic signal that essentially pulls the plug on her sexual radio. Then the males start to emit a chemical that jams the pheromone receptors of any other beetles that may be contemplating a move to this particular tree. Learn about human pheromones at http://astrobiosociety.org/great-pheromone-debate-sex-cologne-men/
Adrian Forsyth also details the great pains the male snowshoe hare takes to lure the female to his bed. No slouch in the entertainment category, he performs powerful jumps into the air in a valiant attempt to convince the female to mate with him. The ritual doesn’t end with ballet-style leaps and bounds, however. While in the air, the male sends a stream of pheromones onto the female.
Instead of being repulsed by the male hare’s behavior, the female perks up. Upon sniffing his urine, she becomes informed of his sexual prowess because the substance reveals the potency of his pheromones and his levels of the sex hormone testosterone.
Lemur Light Sticks
Male ring-tailed lemurs use pheromones to attract the attention of females dozing in trees. The males coat their long tails with their own personal pheromone, and then proceed to wave their tails at each other in scenes reminiscent of the light-stick fight between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Star Wars. These ostentatious gesticulations have a purpose: The guy with the most “attractive” tail gets the girl.
Alfred Hitchcock’s lushy dark movies are frightening because of the unexpected twists played out under seemingly normal circumstances. This method applies just as well to the ploys of the red-sided garter snake (Tbamnopbis sirtalis parietalis), undoubtedly the Hitchcock of the reptilian mating scene. Let’s say you’re a male snake vying for female attention amid a sea of other males focused on the same goal. Perhaps there are only a few females, making the need to stand out in the crowd even more critical.
The red-sided garter snake (Tbamnopbis sirtalis parietalis) is undoubtedly the Hitchcock of the reptilian mating scene. Let’s say you’re a male snake vying for female attention amid a sea of other males focused on the same goal. Perhaps there are only a few females, making the need to stand out in the crowd even more critical.
Some male red-sided garters are equipped with an ingenious way of winning this reproductive game: They turn themselves into pseudofernales by dressing up in a chemical mask designed to mimic the opposite sex. Adrian Forsyth calls them “chemical transvestites.
During mating, a female snake may become buried under a slithering mass of lusty males. The smartest male will be able to emit a “female” pheromone that causes the other males to become confused and start searching for the source of this “feminine” sex attractant; they may even attempt to mate with “her.” While the other males are moving about in befuddlement, the “female” male moves in on his target—the true female.
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Alexander P is a blogger who studies pheromones.