Nature is unchallenged and its ways are amazing always. A study carried out by the Canadian Scientists on the North American bugs show that they use sunbathing to keep off germs and stay healthy.The study discovered emission of certain compounds by the insects with the process of biosynthesis carried out in sunlight, protected the bugs from penetration by germs.
The scientists at Simon Fraser University in Canada found out that certain North American bugs called Western Boxelder bugs (WBB) collect in the sunlit areas and released a compound called Monoterpenes.
Monoterpenes is a chemical compound with a very strong smell that can kill the germs on the bodies of the bugs thus giving them protection. The study discovered that the Monoterpenes were excreted only when the bugs were in the sunlight.
The bugs used in the study are found in the B.C interior regions. The scientists were under the misconception that the compound secretion helped in guarding against the predators or in the process of reproduction, but that was not so.
The chemical secretion
The sunlight acts as a catalyst to aid the biosynthesis of the chemical compound in these outgoing creatures. The compound encloses the fungal spores that are on the surface of the bugs’ body shielding the insects from the onslaught of the germs.
Gerhard Gries co-author of the study stated "Prophylactic sunbathing defends these bugs against pathogens that they encounter in their shelters." Gerhard further stated "If they are converting the sun's solar energy to fuel chemical work, without the aid of microbial symbionts - organisms that live together with a host, often to their mutual benefit - we would consider this a highly remarkable feat in the animal world.”
The researchers presume that a similar “guarding” process may be there in other insects but it still has to be studied. The research study has a prominent place in the journal Entomologia Experimentalis it Applicata.