I was just doing a quick web search to see if anyone else had used my neologism mothematics, turns out they have, so it’s not my neologism at all. It was used in a couple of places before I adopted it for my moths and butterflies galleries, including in the title of a scientific research paper:
The mothematics of female pheromone signaling: strategies for aging virgins.
The paper was written by Umbers, Symonds, and Kokko of the Centre of Excellence in Biological Interactions at the Australian National University, in Canberra and published in The American Naturalist in 2015. Quite a provocative title, the paper discusses the cost to female moths in pumping out a pheromone plume to attract a mate. Costs to the female might include the energy and resources costs of the biosynthesis of the pheromones themselves. There might also be unwanted attention from olfactory eavesdroppers, such as parasites and predators who follow the pheromone trail to the female. It is also possible that a pheromone plume might attract too many males. The team suggests that for night-time pheromonal moths, earlier in the night might be optimal.
The team also hinted that younger females might have evolved to signal less intensely, pumping out less pheromone for a shorter time. However, older virgin females become less guarded as they age and will spray their sexual attractant at higher concentration and for longer in an attempt to secure their reproductive success before their time is up.