Sex Pheromones Could Be Used To Trap Giant Hornets

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As per recent research released in the journal Current Biology, scientists found that gigantic hornets may be attracted into traps by utilizing sex pheromones to attract them.

Hornets (Vespa mandarinia) are an invading insect in North America that originated in Asia and are now a problem there. While Asian bees have developed strategies to defend themselves against predator hornets, North American bees have not done so. Large hornets have caused widespread devastation to the bee populations in the United States. It is believed that the enormous hornets, which are the biggest in the world, cause more than $100 million in losses to bee-pollinated agricultural output each year.

Sex traps

Male hornets were lured into a series of traps by sex pheromones, which were set up by the researchers. Pheromones are substances that are generated by a species to communicate information to other members of the species. Due to the fact that male hornets are lured to the pheromone released by a female hornet, scientists have created their own combinations of synthetic pheromones and combined them with pheromones released by a female Vespa mandarinia to determine which traps would function the best.

Each trap was supplied with a fake female hornet in order to attract the attention of the male hornets. After putting them in close proximity to hornet nests in China’s Yunnan region, the researchers discovered that the queen-equivalent pheromone was by far the most effective of the three. According to the research, it is composed of the acids hexanoic acid, octanoic acid, as well as decanoic acid.

Per the research, the winning trap collected more than 16 times the number of hornets as a control trap that did not use pheromones. A day after setting up the traps, the researchers were able to catch thousands of hornets in the process. The components employed by the researchers were identical to those used in an adhesive mouse trap, rendering it simple for other experts to re-create them and test them on hornets across North America. Moreover, the compounds may be readily obtained from chemical providers in the U. S., making the implementation of this trapping approach much more straightforward, according to scientists.

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