Weird Animal Brain: Moth

These beautiful little creatures are incredibly skilled at sniffing out mates. The pheromone the females release is called bombykol. Scientists are on the hunt for exactly how this pheromone activates the male brain.




Sadava, David E., David M. Hillis, H. Craig Heller, and Sally D. Hacker. Life: the science of biology. Sunderland, MA, U.S.A.: Sinauer Associates, Macmillan Learning Curriculum Solutions, 2017.

Sandler, Benjamin H., Larisa Nikonova, Walter S. Leal, and Jon Clardy. “Sexual attraction in the silkworm moth: structure of the pheromone-binding-protein–bombykol complex.” Chemistry & Biology 7.2 (2000): 143-51.

Kayleen Schreiber

Kayleen is obsessed with the brain. After majoring in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, she went straight to a PhD program in neuroscience at the University of Iowa. She currently studies how our brains process speech. She measures electrical changes produced by the brain to understand how the gender of a person talking influences how we hear their speech. Outside the lab, she works to get others excited about science and occasionally plays the bassoon.