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Name: Christina
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Question:
How do insects smell fragrances? What attracts them to different fragrances?



Replies:
Insects do not "smell" in quite the same way as humans and other mammals do. They detect molecules in the air with their antennae, which is something like the way our noses detect the molecules that we smell. Many insects use molecules called pheremones for sexual attraction, these are molecules that we can't smell at all. Mosquitoes apparantly can detect the carbon dioxide in exhaled breath, which helps them find their targets for a blood meal. There are many other cues for many different species of insects.

John Elliott



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