Thursday, 22 December 2016

Female promiscuity in butterflies controls paternity

Date: December 21, 2016
Source: University of Lincoln

The eggs of some butterfly and moth species vary to give females control over the paternity of their offspring, according to new research.

The new study reveals for the first time that the number and location of micropyles (small openings in the outer surface of a female insect's eggs which allow sperm to enter) are driven by a degree of female promiscuity.

The researchers behind the study, based at the University of Lincoln, UK, suggest that an increased number of micropyles enables the female butterfly or moth greater control over fertilisation.

The study is published in the Royal Society's scientific journal,Biology Letters.

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