6.21.2011

summer lovin'







What’s That Fragrance You’re Wearing?

Images by Joseph Scheer

It may not sound like the hottest thing to hit perfume counters since Chanel No. 5, but to polyphemus moths,11-Hexadecadienyl acetate is the very aroma of love. Females release this compound from special glands. Males that encounter the drifting plume of scent change course immediately, flying upwind on four-to-six-inch (10-to-15 centimeter) wings to find the pheromone-emitting female and mate with her. As in many moth species, Antheraea polyphemus males (specimen shown directly above) can detect the come-hither fragrance of a willing female from more than a mile away.




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