Sex, Spanish Fly and the downfall of amorous bees : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Posted as a general interest article. Please take in small dose as per prescription...

Sex, Spanish Fly and the downfall of amorous bees
Date: 06/05/2000

Beetles that gave the world the aphrodisiac Spanish Fly have been found to resort to a unique form of subterfuge to lure a male bee for sex.

Blister beetles are so named because they release a drop of blood laced with cantharidin, a chemical which causes blistering and is also found in "Spanish Fly", which causes severe burning in the urinary tract when drunk.

Researchers have now observed blister beetle larvae undertake mass deception to mimic female bees, luring males and then colonising the bees' nest.

This is the first example of parasitic larvae co-operating to mimic female host species, in this case Habropoda pallida bees, report San Francisco State University scientists in Nature. Upon hatching, hundreds of these dark-orange beetle larvae, called triungulins, navigate their way to the tip of the nearest plant stem, where they form wriggling masses, commented the lead author, Professor John Hafernik.

With his co-author Leslie Saul-Gershenz, he noted that the triungulin mob is positioned much like female bees, perched on the top of a plant stem. The males approach and land on the masses and females in the same way.

"The triungulins are likely emitting a bee-like pheromone to attract males, and another chemical cue to form aggregations," said Saul-Gershenz.

Once the triungulin mass successfully lures a male bee to attempt sex, the larvae use pincher-like limbs to attach themselves to the underside of the duped bees.

These males then deposit the larvae on to female bees during further mating attempts. "By first attaching to a male bee, triungulins have access to multiple females and the nests of each female," said Saul-Gershenz.

Female bees then unwittingly transport these larvae back to their nests. "Once inside, the larvae parasitise the nest," said Prof Hafernik. "The provisions that would have produced a bee produce a beetle instead. Bee eggs already in the nest cell are likely eaten by the larvae as well."

- The Daily Telegraph, London


Question? Is there anyone out there who has read 'My Uncle Oswald' by Roald Dahl?

"What does it actually do to you?" one of the girls asked. "My God," the Major said, "what doesn't it do to you? It builds a fire under your genitals. It is both a violent aphrodisiac and a powerful irritant. It not only makes you uncontrollably randy but it also guarantees you and enormous and long lasting erection at the same time...."

------------------------you'll have to read the rest yourself.

Regards from Down Under - a blister beetle free zone...

-- Pieter (, May 06, 2000


If feral bees really interest you there's a good article in last month's Smithsonian. But, from here, I think it's time for you to get off the island pal.

-- Carlos (, May 07, 2000.

Yes, but what does this mean for Eric, the half-bee?

-- The Tall Man (mortuary@phantasm.moc), May 07, 2000.

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