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Chemical plug prevents mating: butterfly

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Mating butterflies / OntCopper / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

The mating apparatus of male butterflies prevents other males from mating with a female by producing a chemical plug.

BIOMIMICRY TAXONOMY
Summary
"The mating apparatus of the male honeybee actually explodes and detaches, plugging the newly mated queen and preventing other males from mating with her. A number of insects, including butterflies, have chemical mating plugs which serve the same purpose and may even provide nutrients that the female absorbs and uses for egg production." (Forsyth 1992:32)
About the inspiring organism
Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist


Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Plugging apparatus for leaks such as in oil pipelines, radiators.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Mining, transportation

References
Forsyth, A. 1992. Exploring the World of Insects: The Equinox Guide to Insect Behaviour. Camden House.
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Comments

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Sherry
over 3 years ago
This article, "Thanks for the plug," from 11/1/10, shows the plug in a nematode and indicates another possible function: keeping pathogens out. http://bit.ly/c58igD
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