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  • 1.
    Almbro, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Kullberg, Cecilia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Weight Loading and Reproductive Status Affect the Flight Performance of Pieris napi Butterflies2012In: Journal of insect behavior, ISSN 0892-7553, E-ISSN 1572-8889, Vol. 25, no 5, p. 441-452Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Weight-induced mobility reductions can have dramatic fitness consequences and winged animals are especially sensitive to the trade-off between mass and locomotion. Data on how natural weight fluctuations influence a flying insect's ability to take off are scarce. We therefore quantified take-off flight ability in Pieris napi butterflies in relation to reproductive status. Take-off flight ability (velocity and take-off angle) under suboptimal temperature conditions was recorded with a 3D-tracking camera system and was predicted to decrease with relatively larger weight loads. Our results show that relatively larger weight loads generally reduce flight speed in male butterflies and lower take-off angles in females. However, despite having a lower wing loading, mated male butterflies flew slower than unmated males. Our study suggests that retention of weight loads associated with reproduction impairs insect flight performance.

  • 2.
    Bergström, Jonas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Wiklund, Christer
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    No effect of male courtship intensity on female remating in the butterfly Pieris napi.2005In: Journal of insect behavior, ISSN 0892-7553, E-ISSN 1572-8889, Vol. 18, no 4, p. 479-489Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Pieris napi, female fitness increases with number of matings, but wild females mate at an unexpectedly low rate. From a sexual conflict perspective this could be because males manipulate female remating, or alternatively, because wild females experience costs associated with remating which are not applicable under laboratory conditions. To get an indication which sex controls remating and/or the different sexes’ relative costs and benefits of remating, we here test whether female mating frequency is affected by male courtship intensity. We found no effect on female mating frequency or lifespan. This indicates that (i) females control remating and their optimal mating frequency is lower compared to males, or (ii) males can manipulate female remating. We argue that both these alternatives may apply simultaneously to P. napiand that they are inseparable.

  • 3.
    Schäpers, Alexander
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
    Carlsson, Mikael A.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Functional Morphology.
    Gamberale Stille, Gabriella
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.
    Janz, Niklas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
    The Role of Olfactory Cues for the Search Behavior of a Specialist and Generalist Butterfly2015In: Journal of insect behavior, ISSN 0892-7553, E-ISSN 1572-8889, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 77-87Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Searching for resources is often a challenging task, especially for small organisms such as insects. Complex stimuli have to be extracted from the environment and translated into a relevant behavioral output. A first step in this process is to investigate the relative roles of the different senses during search for various resources. While the role of olfaction is well documented in nocturnal moths, the olfactory abilities of the closely related diurnal butterflies are poorly explored. Here we investigated how olfactory information is used in the search for host plants and asked if these abilities varied with levels of stimulus complexity. Thus, we tested two nymphalid butterfly species with divergent host plant range in a two-choice olfactometer testing different combinations of host and non-host plants. The experiments show both the monophagous Aglais urticae and the polyphagous Polygonia c-album could navigate towards an odor source, but this ability varied with context. While mated females exhibited a preference for their host plant, unmated females of both species did not show a preference for host plant cues. Furthermore, both species showed inabilities to make fine-tuned decisions between hosts. We conclude that olfactory cues are important for butterflies to navigate towards targets. We argue that there are limitations on how much information can be extracted from host volatiles. These results are discussed in the light of neural processing limitations and degree of host plant specialization, suggesting the necessity of other sensory modalities to sharpen the decision process and facilitate the final oviposition event.

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