The chemical which the female silkmoth (Bombyx) produces
to attract male silkmoths was identified in 1960. This chemical is called
bombycol. A small amount of bombycol was taken from a group of female
silkmoths and the following experiment was carried out.
|A female silkmoth was
placed in a transparent, air-tight box. The box was placed on a
table. On the same table was placed a dish containing a piece of
filter paper. The filter paper had been soaked in bombycol.
When a male silkmoth was released into the room he ignored the
female silkmoth and attempted to mate with the filter paper!
Answer the following questions
why the male silkmoth ignored the female silkmoth.
(b) Which of the senses are not
used by the male silkmoth to find the female silkmoth? Give
reasons for your answer, using the results of the experiment.
(c) Why was the male silkmoth more
attracted to the filter paper?
(d) Which parts of the male silkmoth
are receptive to bombycol?
© Paul Billiet and Shirley Burchill 2017