[LMB] Re:butterbug reproduction

hvalli at mindspring.com hvalli at mindspring.com
Sun, 23 Dec 2001 14:03:45 -0500

According to the textev below, they already have such a 
control built in. 

<quote starts here>
ACC p88(pb): "Butterbugs are highly controllable, ecologically 
speaking. The workier bugs are sterile; only the queens can 
reproduce, and they're parthenogenic--they don't become fertile 
treated with special hormones." 

Dan Tilque 

<quote ends here>

Wow. I'd totally forgotten about that paragraph. It's amazing what 
the subconcious or whatever will dig up. It still begs--well, maybe 
just asks politely or allows--the question of how easily the 
special hormones would be to cook up for backwoods butterbug 
breeders. Odds are the answer would be: not very.

While we're on the subject, I think I remember something about 
the possibility of butterbugs being engineered to consume the 
native vegetation. There are plenty of more knowledgeable 
biologists on the list than me. Does anyone know if that sort of 
engineering might make them more succeptable to local viruses 
or whatnot? 

Heather V.