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Flowers Deceive Flies with Chemical Cocktail 花朵经过化学“鸡尾酒”拐骗蝇类授粉

时刻: 2017年03月28日 | 作者: 克里斯托弗·因塔 | 来历: 举世(www.22vfpn.com)

Honeybee stings are painful. But they’re also…fragrant. “If a beekeeper gets stung by bees, it smells like banana.” Dr. Stefan Dötterl, a plant ecologist at the University of Salzburg in Austria.

被蜜蜂蛰伤会让你痛苦万分,但与此同时,你会闻到芳香味。“假如一个养蜂人被蜜蜂蛰伤,那闻起来就像香蕉,”奥地利萨尔茨堡大学植物生态学家斯蒂芬·达特博士说。

 

That banana scent, he says, is a compound called isoamyl acetate – also known as banana oil. It’s one of many compounds produced when a bee stings – a mix of alarm pheromones that let the hive know that another bee’s in danger.

他说,香蕉的气味来自一种叫乙酸异戊酯的化合物,也被人称作香蕉油。它是蜜蜂蛰伤发生的化合物之一。蜜蜂形成蛰伤时会开释一系列混合的报警信息素,奉告蜂群有一只蜜蜂处于风险之中。

 

But that chemical cocktail doesn’t just attract other bees. It also draws tiny flies known as kleptoparasites, “or so-called ‘food stealers’.” The flies feed on the drippings of bees being devoured by spiders. And they sense the bees’ chemical calls for help as a dinner bell.

可是这杯化学“鸡尾酒”不只招引其他蜜蜂,也会招引一些被称作“窃食者”的小型蝇类。这种蝇类以坠落的正在被蜘蛛吞噬的蜜蜂残骸为食。它们感知蜜蜂宣布的化学物质以此作为晚餐的信号(蜜蜂宣布的求救信号,便是它们的晚餐铃声)。

 

Turns out, though, it’s not the flies…but a flower that has the last word in this tale of trickery. Because researchers have now discovered that the flower of a South African plant – called the parachute plant – produce nearly three dozen of the 90-some compounds in that honeybee alarm call. Meaning they mimic the scent of a honeybee in danger—to lure in and temporarily trap the flies, as a pollination ploy. The findings are in the journal Current Biology. [Annemarie Heiduk et al., Ceropegia sandersonii Mimics Attacked Honeybees to Attract Kleptoparasitic Flies for Pollination]

但是,这个诈骗故事的终究主角不是这些蝇类,而是一莳花。研究者发现,蜜蜂报警信息素包含了90多种化合物,而一种名为醉龙(Ceropegia sandersonii)的南非植物的的花朵能够制作其间的三分之一。这表明,它们仿照了蜜蜂处于风险时发出的气味,以此来诱惑蝇类为本身授粉。这项发现宣布在《现代生物学》(Current Biology)上 [Annemarie Heiduk et al., Ceropegia sandersonii Mimics Attacked Honeybees to Attract Kleptoparasitic Flies for Pollination]。