Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory

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Flexible responses to visual and olfactory stimuli by foraging Manduca sexta: larval nutrition affects adult behaviour

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2017
Authors:J. Goyret, Kelber, A., Pfaff, M., Raguso, R. A.
Journal:Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Start Page:2739

"Here, we show that the consequences of deficient micronutrient (β-carotene) intake during larval stages of Manduca sexta are carried across metamorphosis, affecting adult behaviour. Our manipulation of larval diet allowed us to examine how developmental plasticity impacts the interplay between visual and olfactory inputs on adult foraging behaviour. Larvae of M. sexta were reared on natural (Nicotiana tabacum) and artificial laboratory diets containing different concentrations of β-carotene (standard diet, low β-carotene, high β-carotene and cornmeal). This vitamin-A precursor has been shown to be crucial for photoreception sensitivity in the retina of M. sexta. After completing development, post-metamorphosis, starved adults were presented with artificial feeders that could be either scented or unscented. Regardless of their larval diet, adult moths fed with relatively high probabilities on scented feeders. When feeders were unscented, moths reared on tobacco were more responsive than moths reared on β-carotene-deficient artificial diets. Strikingly, moths reared on artificial diets supplemented with increasing amounts of β-carotene (low β and high β) showed increasing probabilities of response to scentless feeders. We discuss these results in relationship to the use of complex, multi-modal sensory information by foraging animals."

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith