Behavioral responses of adult female tobacco hornworms, Manduca sexta, to hostplant volatiles change with age and mating status

W. L. Mechaber, C. T. Capaldo, J. G. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present evidence for two behaviors influenced by intact, vegetative plant odor - upwind flight and abdomen curling - in female Manduca sexta and demonstrate the influence of the age and mating status of the moths on these behaviors. We compared the behavioral responses of laboratory-reared M. sexta. of discrete ages and physiological states (2,3, and 4 day old for virgin; 2 and 3 day old for mated) as individual moths flew upwind in a flight tunnel to a source of hostplant volatiles. We monitored odor-modulated flight and abdomen curling in the presence of volatiles released by potted hostplants. Mated 3 day old females exhibited the highest incidence of odor-modulated flight and abdomen curling. Similarly, as virgin moths aged, a greater percentage of the individuals displayed odor-modulated flight patterns and abdomen curling. In contrast, younger virgin moths exhibited high levels of abdomen curling only after contact with the plant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Insect Science
Volume2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 18 2002

Keywords

  • Flight
  • Hostplant volatiles
  • Manduca sexta
  • Moths
  • Oviposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

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