Biodiversity

Friday, May 12, 2006

HOW INSECTS FIND THEIR SOUL MATES

There are different mechanisms which insects use in order to attract their mates. Some of the insects use, sounds, display of beautiful colours and pheromones ("a chemical produced by an organism that transmits a message to the other members of the same species") (1).

Insects produce a trail pheromone to mark their path so that the females can find them easily (1). The females follow the smell until they find the males. Insects which use pheromones to locate or find their mating partners have to keep on releasing them because the scent disperses quickly (1). Moths use smell to attract mates (pheromones). Females produce chemical compounds called pheromones which male moths are able to detect with their large, feathery antennae but it had to continue producing the pheromone because it evaporates quickly(8).

Some insects like crickets, grasshoppers and cicadas rub together their body with the hind legs to create a sound (2). That sound attracts their mating partners (1). Similarly, the crickets’ males have ridges in their wings that act like a comb or file instrument to attract females (3). When they chirp they rub their wings or legs against each other, while they are busy rubbing a sound or song comes out (3). The song only attracts females and it is quite loud (3). Male crickets release two types of song depending on the situation that they are in. when the female is near the song produced is very quiet and when the female is far it is very loud so that the females can hear the sound (3).

Grasshoppers produce sounds when attracting their mating partners. They produce sound by strengthening their veins in the wings then they use the edge of their hind limb to rub against the wings (5). Only the males can be able to attract the female since they can sing and the females can not (5).

Cicadas use vibrations to attract their mates. They use their abdomen to make their vibrations which have two chambers. The two chambered abdomen is divided into the inner and the outer (7). The inner wall of the chamber is stiff and the abdomen moves in and out. When the chamber is moved muscles in the abdomen pulls the wall of the abdomen back which release a click sound which causes the abdomen to vibrate (7). When a female cicada hears the vibrations it knows that it is time for mating, then it follows the vibrations until it finds the male. Each species have its own sound which they can recognize and attracts their mates (7).

Moths, butterflies and mayflies display their colourful wings to attract their mating partners. Butterflies spread their multi colored wings to attract their mating partners. The wings have microscopic structures which spilt light rays to display different colours (pigments) (4). When the female sees the different colour it follows the male (4). When male mayflies spread their wings they attract females but of the same species since females are less colourful than males so males are the ones who attract females (6).

The main reason why insects use different signals to find their partners is because they want to reproduce so that they can increase in number. When they have found their soul mates they mate with them to produce eggs.


References:

1. Wikipedia contributors. Pheromones [internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 7, 16:15 UTC [cited 2006 May 8]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pheromones
2. Wikipedia contributors. Stridulation [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2005 Sep 24, 16:53 UTC [cited 2006 May 8]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stridulation&oldid=23924839
3. Wikipedia contributors. Crickets [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 4, 14:55 UTC [cited 2006 May 8]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crickets
4. Wikipedia contributors. Butterfly [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 8, 03:48 UTC [cited 2006 May 8]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly
5. Wikipedia contributors. Grasshopper [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 6, 15:20 UTC [cited 2006 May 8]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grasshopper
6. Wikipedia contributors. Mayflies [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 Apr 28, 18:49 UTC [cited 2006 May 8]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayflies
7. Wikipedia contributors. Cicadas [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 7, 09:49 UTC [cited 2006 May 8]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicadas
8. Wikipedia contributors. Moth [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia; 2006 May 8, 13:21 UTC [cited 2006 May 8]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moth

Lethabo Mosomane
CSIR
Pretoria
0001
Tel: 27 12 841 2133
Fax: 27 12 842 3676
Mail: lmosomane@csir.co.za
http://lmosomane.blogspot.com/

5 Comments:

  • Hi Lethabo

    You've got lots of references here, which is good. Your essay is a collection of quotes from those refernces, which is not so good. USE YOUR OWN WORDS. It's the only way to display a real understanding of the topic. Also, your intro and end paragraph are the same...

    Nick

    By Blogger NcK, at May 18, 2006 8:52 AM  

  • fixed

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    By Blogger sfdg, at January 07, 2013 11:58 AM  

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