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Male Sex Scales of Moths

Dr. Richard L. Brown

Thaumatotibia Sex Scales

Crocidosema Sex Scales

Cydia Sex Scales

Thaumatotibia Leg Sex Scales

Monarch Emergence Video by Linda Avitt

NEXT MEETING INFO- Zoom Meeting, Monday July 26th, at 7:00pm

“Male Sex Scales of Moths – Natural Wicks for Scent Dispersal”

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Male Sex Scales of Moths – Natural Wicks for Scent Dispersal Butterflies and moths have attracted much attention because of their colorful wing patterns derived from pigments inside their scales. Males of many Lepidoptera have scales that lack pigments, but rather are used for producing and disseminating pheromones that are essential for mating success. This presentation is based on examinations of the male scent scales of tortricid and gelechiid moths with a scanning electron microscope. The images of magnified scales have revealed another kind of beauty with the structural innovations that increase surface area to improve dissemination as well as different ways of protecting the scent scales when not in courtship.

Richard L. Brown is the W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus as well as Director Emeritus, Mississippi Entomological Museum at Mississippi State University. Richard began collecting insects during the 1960's in northwestern Arkansas. As a student at University of Arkansas (M.S., 1973), he became interested in the Lepidoptera, especially the "micros" of the southern Ozarks. After serving as a medical entomologist in the military for two years, Richard concentrated on the systematics of the large micro moth family of Tortricidae at Cornell University. Upon completing my doctorate in 1980, I was employed as Director of the Mississippi Entomological Museum and Assistant Professor to teach taxonomy courses at Mississippi State University. Following collecting trips around the world, Richard began concentrating on the relatively unknown moth fauna in southeastern U.S., especially in unique and threatened habitats in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Richard L. Brown I began collecting and studying microlepidoptera in Arkansas during the 1960’s and obtained my M.S. degree in Entomology at the University of Arkansas. After serving as a medical entomologist in the U.S. Army at Ft. Sam Houston, I obtained a Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1980. I was then employed as Director of the Mississippi Entomological Museum at Mississippi State University where I also taught courses in Insect Taxonomy, Aquatic Insects, and Immature Insects. My research has concentrated on morphology and systematics of tortricid and gelechiid moths and has involved fieldwork throughout the U.S. and in Chile, Venezuela, New Caledonia, Fiji Islands, and Thailand. Since my retirement in 2020, I have greatly enjoyed working full time on moths and manuscripts.

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