Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anti-aphrodisiac protects young bedbugs

Date:
September 12, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Male bedbugs are known to be very unfussy when it comes to mating, mounting any well-fed bug they can see -- regardless of age or gender. Researchers have discovered how immature bedbug nymphs, who would be harmed by the traumatic insemination technique practiced by the males, release alarm pheromones to deter this unwanted attention.

This is a bedbug.
Credit: Harraca et al., BMC Biology

Male bedbugs are known to be very unfussy when it comes to mating, mounting any well-fed bug they can see -- regardless of age or gender. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology have discovered how immature bedbug nymphs, who would be harmed by the traumatic insemination technique practiced by the males, release alarm pheromones to deter this unwanted attention.

Related Articles


Vincent Harraca, from Lund University, Sweden, worked with a team of researchers to stage encounters between males and females or nymphs. He said, "The chemical communication, as well as the mating behavior, of bed bugs has received increased attention in recent years as bed bug infestations have increased worldwide. Mating is exclusively traumatic, with the male piercing an opening in the female and ejaculating directly into the abdominal cavity. In order to avoid this, we've found that bedbug nymphs release aldehyde pheromones that let the male know that they should look elsewhere. These results may be applied to decrease bed bug populations by mating disruption."

Harraca and his colleagues prevented a group of nymphs from signaling by blocking their scent glands with nail polish. These 'silenced' nymphs were then found to experience the same percentage of mating with sperm transfer as a normal female. Furthermore, application of the pheromones, to a male/female pair during mounting initiation caused a decrease in mating frequency. The anti-aphrodisiac blend of aldehydes was shown to signal through olfactory receptor neurons in the antennae of the repelled males. This research provides new insights into the chemical communication system of bed bugs and challenges the common view that alarm pheromones are used as a predator defense mechanism only.

Speaking about the results, Harraca said, "The chemical communication system of the bed bugs is only just unfolding, and further analyses on longevity costs to nymphs as well as males who have been pierced is a high priority to fully understand the picture of traumatic insemination."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vincent Harraca, Camilla Ryne and Rickard Ignell. Nymphs of the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) produce anti-aphrodisiac defence against conspecific males. BMC Biology, 2010; (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Anti-aphrodisiac protects young bedbugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908191134.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2010, September 12). Anti-aphrodisiac protects young bedbugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908191134.htm
BioMed Central. "Anti-aphrodisiac protects young bedbugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908191134.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Buzz60 (Oct. 31, 2014) For its nature series Life Story, the BBC profiled the barnacle goose, whose chicks must make a daredevil 400-foot cliff dive from their nests to find food. Jen Markham has the astonishing video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) The import of salamanders around the globe is thought to be contributing to the spread of a deadly fungus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) A health group in the United Kingdom has called for mandatory calorie labels on alcoholic beverages in the European Union. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

AFP (Oct. 31, 2014) Focus on treating the Ebola epidemic in Liberia means that treatment for malaria, itself a killer, is hard to come by. MSF are now undertaking the mass distribution of antimalarials in Monrovia. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins