Scent of a woman (insect)


How ancient midges attracted a mate.


Peter T. Rühr / Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig

A 3-D model of a tiny biting midge, no larger than one millimetre, discovered in 54-million-year-old amber.

The insect had "pockets" at the front edge of its wings which look a bit like bubbles in the image above. Researchers in Germany, Poland and India, reporting in the journal Scientific Reports, think the ancient female midges used these pockets to to collect, store and spray pheromones to attract a mate.

Today's midges, though, are much simpler. They release pheromones from their abdomen using "evaporator" structures.

  1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep34352
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