Insects don’t like to be blown away by sex
Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo and other institutions have found that various bugs tend to change their mating habits based on changing weather conditions–specifically, during the rise and fall of air pressure.
In their research, the scientists studied the sex habits of the curcurbit beetle, the true armyworm moth, and the potato aphid under various air pressure conditions. The results, while not very surprising, does reveal that—like humans—lesser organisms also rely on “other” factors before deciding if it’s the right time to get busy.
In the case of the above mentioned bugs, the scientists subjected them to three atmospheric conditions: stable, rising and falling air pressure.
With the beetles, researchers found that the male’s response to the female’s sex pheromones changed significantly under the various pressure conditions. Relative the stable condition, when the beetle was subjected to falling air pressure, it’s response to pheromone dropped dramatically. Additionally, 63% of the males started copulating faster (with the females around) during dropping atmospheric pressure. Under stable and rising air pressure, however, all the males showed that they were ready to mate.
Similarly, the moths and aphids also displayed signs of changing their mating habits depending on the air pressure. The female moths reduced its calling during decreasing air pressure, while the aphid showed signs of reduced calling during both increasing and decreasing air pressure.
The rise and fall of air pressure can be attributed to a variety of observable environmental conditions such as rain or wind. In some sense, these insects’ ability “sense” changing air pressure ensure that they don’t drown or get blown away during coitus.