Male scent-producing structures in Colias butterflies - Function, localization, and adaptive features

Ronald L. Rutowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During successful courtship in sulfur butterflies, virgin females respond to males by assuming a stationary posture and extending the abdomen ventrally from between the hindwings, thereby permitting copulation. In the clouded sulfur, Colias philodice Godard, this response was used in a laboratory bioassay to confirm the existence of a male chemical signal demonstrated by a previous worker and to document the signal's behavioral function and source. The male scent is shown to be required, in part, to reliably elicit abdominal extension and to be emitted from a patch of cells and scales associated with the dorsal surface of the male hind wing near the wing base. Experiments also show that evaporation of the signal is reduced when the source is covered by the forewing as it is at rest and in flight. These data, coupled with other information on male chemical signals in sulfur butterflies and other Lepidoptera, suggest that in sulfurs the morphology and chemistry of the scent glands along with the behavior of the male are structured in a way that minimizes the evaporative loss of scent from the wings when the male is not courting females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-26
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1980

Fingerprint

Colias
Butterflies
Sulfur
butterfly
butterflies
odors
sulfur
Bioassay
Colias philodice
Scent Glands
Evaporation
scent glands
Courtship
Copulation
Lepidoptera
posture
virgin females
copulation
courtship
Posture

Keywords

  • Butterfly
  • chemical communication
  • Colias philodice
  • courtship
  • Lepidoptera
  • male scent
  • Pieridae
  • sex brands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Male scent-producing structures in Colias butterflies - Function, localization, and adaptive features. / Rutowski, Ronald L.

In: Journal of Chemical Ecology, Vol. 6, No. 1, 01.1980, p. 13-26.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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