The Wax Moth: A Problem or a Solution?

Mating and Reproduction in the Wax Moth: A Sequence of Events

Author(s): Lovleen Marwaha

Pp: 56-66 (11)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815123821123010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The wax moth adults prefer to mate on trees near the bee farm. For mating, they exhibit a specific behavioural pattern that includes the male's production of ultrasonic sound waves, wing vibration by the female moth, and pheromonal release by the male moth. After mating, the gravid female returns to the hive and oviposits there. The pairing in this moth occurs in a sex–role reversal manner rather than the typical moth signalling system. The male moth produces ultrasonic sound and pheromonal signals in this insect, whereas females have chemical signals in other moths. In other words, pairing in the wax moth occurs by releasing pheromones and wing fanning, attracting female moths with a response to wing fanning. Furthermore, the presence of the female moth induces the male to produce ultrasonic sounds that attract the female and make her receptive to courtship. The current chapter elucidates signalling in the male wax moth, the response of the female exclusively to the male's mating calls and volatiles released by the male to guide her for the mating. Comparatively, more detailed information is available on the greater wax moth (GWM) than, the lesser wax moth (LWM) concerning insect biology, laboratory rearing, morphology, anatomy, physiology, genomics, proteomics, mating, reproduction, immunity, and plastic degradation capacity.

Keywords: Wax Moth Mating, Wax Moth Reproduction, Galleria mellonella.

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