Sunday, 24 March 2013

'Casanova' Moths Use Mustache-Like Tufts for Courtship

by LiveScience Staff
Date: 18 March 2013 Time: 04:36 PM ET

Australian pygmy moths that are well equipped for courtship are appropriately borrowing their name from the 18th century Italian philanderer and adventurer Giacomo Casanova.
Researchers say they named the newly designated subgenus "Casanovula" (within the genus Pectinivalva) because these metallic-colored species sport mustache-like patches that seem to help them lure females by spreading their scent.
CREDIT: Landcare Research and Naturalis Biodiversity Center 

These patches — which look like overlapping shells up close — can be found on their front legs, wings or abdomen and they are thought to help disperse scent from a close range during courtship of the female.

This picture shows the male minotaur pygmy moth (Pectinivalva (Casanovula) minotaurus) showing its bizarre flattened antennae.

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