The dangers of loud sex (if you’re a fly)

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Bats hunt and eat gray buzzard flies mate only when these

Sex and death, or withdrawal and life. Mate triggers the predation riskof the flies that live in zone bats . Are usually too small and stealthy forecholocation of flying mammal, but during sex produce a noise that it can identify and locate. The couple becomes food.

A group of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology have studied for four years of a stable life , “home to a colony of bats and flies more than could have.” They wanted to know under what conditions the first ate the latter. The result was clear: only eat when they copulate.

It was suspected that sex is a risky activity for species living at high risk from predators. According to the researchers responsible for this work, published in the journal Current Biology – however, this study is the first empirical evidence of this. Still, only 26% of flies that copulated once were subject from attack by bats.

Max Planck scientists say it is a sound of the wings of male flies to copulate that alerts the bats. To prove it, had to rule out other hypotheses as if it was larger, which would facilitate its echolocation-partner in front of the solitary individual. In no case was attacked flies that copulate.

To definitively confirm that the sound was responsible for notifying the bats, scientists put a speaker in the barn that imitated. Only when matched all aspects of the noise caused by the wings of the fly, the flying mammal was coming to inspect.

According to Stefan Greif , co-author of the study, it is likely that other insects are facing thesame dilemma that flies . Also, other predators are willing to take sexual unions of their prey to enjoy a ” two for one “in his food. “Many animals do not only get more attention during sex, but are also more distracted,” he says. The moral is clear: “sex kills.”

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