Tuesday


When it comes to the art of attracting females, insects often go to extreme lengths to secure a mate. As we have seen in the previous post, water boatman males make the loudest noise in the animal kingdom relative to their body size. Another example of sophisticated courtship endeavor seen in insects is that of a moth commonly found in south-east Asia as well as in northern Australia.
Males of the Creatonotos Gangis moth species have four tentacle-like body parts whose role is to attract females by emitting pheromones.

A viral video showing a male Creatonotos Gangis with giant tentacles has left Internet users in a bewildered state of curiosity. The footage was filmed in Indonesia by a Facebook user called Gandik. Social media users' reactions ranged from sarcastic remarks about an upcoming alien invasion to funny evolutionary explanations. However, the Creatonotos Gangis moth has been known to biologists for a long time, and one of earliest works mentioning it dates back to 1763 when Carl Linnaeus described it in his Centuria Insectorum.

The giant tentacles are inflatable coremata that act as scent organs designed to attract females through the release of pheromones. When inflated, Creatonotos Gangis' coremata can exceed the size of its abdomen. Interestingly, the size of these organs is largely dependent on the type of diet the moths undertake in their caterpillar stage.

While sexual pheromones don't seem to play a noticeable role in human sexuality, growing large coremata for the sole purpose of luring females can only mean that these creatures experience the world in quite a smelly fashion!

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