How Male Beetles Attract The Ladies: The Smell of Sex and Death

We all know that in order to attract mates, we need to smell good. But for the hide beetles (Dermestes maculatus), smelling good with sex pheromones is not enough. They need an extra oomph ... and that's provided by the smell of death:

... Christian von Hoermann, a forensic entomologist at Ulm University, Germany, and his colleagues exposed virgin females to several potentially alluring scents. They found that neither the male sex pheromones nor the scent of a pig's cadaver at various stages of decay were significantly more attractive to the virgin females than the scent of a control solvent. But a combination of dead pig scent and male pheromone had the females flocking.


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