Butterflies Can Get New Perfume Preferences and Pass That to Their Offsprings

It was thought for a long time that physical features obtain by organisms during their lifetime couldn’t reach their successors. Recently, however, such a belief of inheritance of obtained characteristics has enhanced.

Many types of research showcase how the next generation of rats or small worms inherit behaviors from their parents. Such a thing happens due to specific environmental stimuli, even when the incentive is nowhere to be identified in the offspring’s successors.

The present theory is further raised by recent researches led by a team from the National University of Singapore (NUS). The team discovered that the inheritance of obtained features also occurs in butterflies, especially in the Bicyclus anynana brown butterfly.

Butterflies’ Way With Perfume Preferences

As two research teams united, we learn that something is quite peculiar yet spectacular at the Bicyclus anynana caterpillars and adult butterflies. The creatures can get to prefer other scents of they are flashed to them during their growth.

Researchers also discovered that the children of the exposed butterflies and caterpillars display similar new favorites as their parents. And such a thing happens, even if they weren’t flashed themselves, showing that their parents have passed their newly obtained choices to their offsprings.

Getting Used to New Scents for Mating and Nurturing

In the first research, NUS student M V. Gowri, and other collaborators exposed butterflies and caterpillars to new scents they usually don’t encounter in their environment. In the tests, caterpillars received corn leaves, their typical food, coated with mango concentrate, and bananas throughout their evolution. Most of the caterpillars chose to feed on leaves with the fruit juice after only a few days.

In the second research, Dr. Dion and her team exposed young female butterflies to the latest sex pheromone mixture, a smell made by males to attract females to mate with them. The results indicated that the exposed females later chose to mate with males that got that specific pheromone compound.

“These results are significant because they show that insects are not only driven by their instincts but can also learn from their previous experience and adjust their future behavior accordingly,” explained Dr. Dion.

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