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How does a diurnal hawkmoth find nectar? Differences in sensory control with a nocturnal relative

Goyret, Joaquin LU and Kelber, Almut LU (2011) In Behavioral Ecology 22(5). p.976-984
Abstract
Recent research shows that a nocturnal hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, inspects flowers in search for nectar by means of a series of hovering and proboscis movements controlled by different sensory modalities, mainly vision and mechanoreception. The diurnal Macroglossum stellatarum is a closely related hawkmoth challenged with the same task but under illuminances 6-8 orders of magnitude higher. Here, we use flower models presenting color markings, 3D features, or both to study innate flower movements and sensory cues involved in the innate inspection behavior of M. stellatarum. On flat plain colored models, moths scanned the whole corolla with their proboscis, attaining intermediate success levels. When models presented color markings, moths... (More)
Recent research shows that a nocturnal hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, inspects flowers in search for nectar by means of a series of hovering and proboscis movements controlled by different sensory modalities, mainly vision and mechanoreception. The diurnal Macroglossum stellatarum is a closely related hawkmoth challenged with the same task but under illuminances 6-8 orders of magnitude higher. Here, we use flower models presenting color markings, 3D features, or both to study innate flower movements and sensory cues involved in the innate inspection behavior of M. stellatarum. On flat plain colored models, moths scanned the whole corolla with their proboscis, attaining intermediate success levels. When models presented color markings, moths biased proboscis placement, which affected inspection efficiency. Three-dimensional features affected inspection behavior and efficiency, by provoking strong "diving'' responses. When both visual and tactile features were present, visual cues showed prevalence in the control of the inspection behavior. We evaluated learning abilities of moths, finding that M. stellatarum cannot only improve their efficiency by calibrating innate responses but also by changing their innate strategy. We discuss results on flower inspection behavior of M. stellatarum comparatively with known aspects of this behavior in M. sexta. Motor responses appear to be shared by these hawkmoths, but their sensory control shows important differences. Future studies will evaluate whether these differences are the result of an evolutionary divergence of their innate behavior associated with a switch to diurnal activity or the result of a flexible use of sensory information by the naive animals. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
flower inspection, Lepidoptera, nectar guides, pollination, sensory, ecology
in
Behavioral Ecology
volume
22
issue
5
pages
976 - 984
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000294358400014
  • scopus:80052204535
ISSN
1045-2249
DOI
10.1093/beheco/arr078
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7f4f8ac0-6009-4452-8e68-2845b0adcf36 (old id 2160758)
date added to LUP
2011-09-21 15:39:37
date last changed
2017-02-26 03:47:45
@article{7f4f8ac0-6009-4452-8e68-2845b0adcf36,
  abstract     = {Recent research shows that a nocturnal hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, inspects flowers in search for nectar by means of a series of hovering and proboscis movements controlled by different sensory modalities, mainly vision and mechanoreception. The diurnal Macroglossum stellatarum is a closely related hawkmoth challenged with the same task but under illuminances 6-8 orders of magnitude higher. Here, we use flower models presenting color markings, 3D features, or both to study innate flower movements and sensory cues involved in the innate inspection behavior of M. stellatarum. On flat plain colored models, moths scanned the whole corolla with their proboscis, attaining intermediate success levels. When models presented color markings, moths biased proboscis placement, which affected inspection efficiency. Three-dimensional features affected inspection behavior and efficiency, by provoking strong "diving'' responses. When both visual and tactile features were present, visual cues showed prevalence in the control of the inspection behavior. We evaluated learning abilities of moths, finding that M. stellatarum cannot only improve their efficiency by calibrating innate responses but also by changing their innate strategy. We discuss results on flower inspection behavior of M. stellatarum comparatively with known aspects of this behavior in M. sexta. Motor responses appear to be shared by these hawkmoths, but their sensory control shows important differences. Future studies will evaluate whether these differences are the result of an evolutionary divergence of their innate behavior associated with a switch to diurnal activity or the result of a flexible use of sensory information by the naive animals.},
  author       = {Goyret, Joaquin and Kelber, Almut},
  issn         = {1045-2249},
  keyword      = {flower inspection,Lepidoptera,nectar guides,pollination,sensory,ecology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {976--984},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology},
  title        = {How does a diurnal hawkmoth find nectar? Differences in sensory control with a nocturnal relative},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arr078},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2011},
}