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HomeDigit NewsScientists created sex trap so thousands of 'killer creatures' got trapped

Scientists created sex trap so thousands of ‘killer creatures’ got trapped

According to a new study published in the journal Current Biology, researchers have found that giant hornets can be lured into traps using sex pheromones.

In recent times, the name of ‘killer bugs’ ie Giant Hornets is in the news again. Meanwhile, according to a new study published in the journal Current Biology, researchers have found that Giant Hornets can be lured into traps using sex pheromones. 

Basically the hornet, Vespa mandarinia is growing as an invasive species in North America. It originally came from Asia. Although Asian bees have adapted to protect themselves from predatory hornets, North American bees have not.

The giant hornet has wreaked havoc on the bee population in America. According to an estimate, giant hornets cause a loss of more than Rs 759 crore annually in the production of bee-pollinated crops.

“A lot of people often refer to them as ‘Murder Hornets’, but that’s a sensationalized name,” said James Nieh, a professor of biological sciences at the University of California, San Diego. However, they also say that these hornets are hunters.

Giant Hornet
Giant Hornet

Professor James Nieh’s team created a series of traps using sex pheromones to attract male hornets. According to Nieh, pheromones are chemicals that are produced within a species to convey information. 

Male hornets are attracted to female hornets’ sex pheromones, so the researchers used their mix of synthetic pheromones with natural sex pheromones from a female Vespa Mandarinia to test which trap would perform best. 

Scientists trapped 16 times more hornets in the ‘sex trap’
During the study, this sex trap was installed near the hornet colony in the Greek province of China. 16 times more hornets were trapped in it than in the normal trap. In about a day, thousands of hornets were trapped in this sex trap. 

Alan Gibbs, a professor in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, said although this is an effective way to capture large numbers of giant hornets in a short amount of time, it may not be an ideal system. In addition, hornets only mate for a few months in the fall, so trapping methods can only be applied during that time. 

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