Wednesday, August 8, 2012

methyl mercaptan CH3SH

good grief! the Iris scientist wishes to use this as attractant? It is the most foul smelling substance it was ever my 'privilege' to encounter during my long career as an industrial chemist. As he says, it's a gas, so his only chance is to generate it 'in situ' at the site where he wants to attract iris. If he tries this, he may attract iris, but he will lose all his friends, because the stink attaches to you and takes ages to dissipate. No, the best idea is from the latest blog from Matthew: the alcohol fermented banana mash: luvly jubbly, as Dellboy was wont to say


irisscientist said...


Your identification of the picture is certainly correct and am very surprised it took somebody on the blog that long...however I do not remember actually writing that what was in the picture was the compound I was referring too! :-) There are many breakdown products of Methionine (a long and probably very boring explanation), so as a chemist, you may well be able to identify more of them....

As for Methyl Mercpatan/Methanethiol, I could not agree more, awful stuff. As for generation or 'administration', try looking up culturing Proteus spp (such as vulgaris or inconstans) which produce it in generous quantities.


Derek Longhurst said...

Isn't this the stuff they add to natural gas so you can smell it?

Just inflate a balloon from the gas jet and take it with you. Puncture it under your nearest oak tree.

(No, I haven't tried it!)

irisscientist said...

Farting jokes aside....

Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the iris in the banana bait picture displayed a female? Being non-nectar feeders, even the females must collect their nutrients sources from somewhere.

Banana's, like all other fruits, aphid honeydews and almost all other natural sources, (apart from eggs, which are naturally 'encased'), Methionine is a very rare comodity and is consequently only found in quantities within 'meat/animal' products.

I'm betting this guy doesn't have a picture of a male iris/ilia attracted to his bait....then again, maybe the guy posting this message is also bonkers :-)