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Shades of yellow: interactive effects of visual and odour cues in a pest beetle.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The visual ecology of pest insects is poorly studied compared to the role of odour cues in determining their behaviour. Furthermore, the combined effects of both odour and vision on insect orientation are frequently ignored, but could impact behavioural responses. METHODS:A locomotion compensator was used to evaluate use of different visual stimuli by a major coleopteran pest of stored grains (Sitophilus zeamais), with and without the presence of host odours (known to be attractive to this species), in an open-loop setup. RESULTS:Some visual stimuli-in particular, one shade of yellow, solid black and high-contrast black-against-white stimuli-elicited positive orientation behaviour from the beetles in the absence of odour stimuli. When host odours were also present, at 90° to the source of the visual stimulus, the beetles presented with yellow and vertical black-on-white grating patterns changed their walking course and typically adopted a path intermediate between the two stimuli. The beetles presented with a solid black-on-white target continued to orient more strongly towards the visual than the odour stimulus. DISCUSSION:Visual stimuli can strongly influence orientation behaviour, even in species where use of visual cues is sometimes assumed to be unimportant, while the outcomes from exposure to multimodal stimuli are unpredictable and need to be determined under differing conditions. The importance of the two modalities of stimulus (visual and olfactory) in food location is likely to depend upon relative stimulus intensity and motivational state of the insect.

SUBMITTER: Arnold SE 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4950555 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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