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The relative importance of olfaction and vision in a diurnal and a nocturnal hawkmoth

Publiceringsår: 2006
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 431-437
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Comparative Physiology A
Volym: 192
Nummer: 4
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Springer


Nectar-feeding animals can use vision and olfaction to find rewarding flowers and different species may give different weight, to the two sensory modalities. We have studied how a diurnal or nocturnal lifestyle affects the weight given to vision and olfaction. We tested naive hawkmoths of two species in a wind tunnel, presenting an odour source and a visual stimulus. Although the two species belong to the same subfamily of sphingids, the Macroglossinae, their behaviour was quite different. The nocturnal Deilephila elpenor responded preferably to the odour while the diurnal Macroglossum stellatarum strongly favoured the visual stimulus. Since a nocturnal lifestyle is ancestral for sphingids, the diurnal species, M. stellatarum, has evolved from nocturnal moths that primarily used olfaction. During bright daylight visual cues may have became more important than odour.


  • Zoology


  • Lund Vision Group
  • ISSN: 1432-1351

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