Larval nutrition affects female nectar amino acid preference in the map butterfly (Araschnia levana)

Mevi-Schutz, J. and Erhardt, A.. (2003) Larval nutrition affects female nectar amino acid preference in the map butterfly (Araschnia levana). Ecology, 84, Nr. 10. pp. 2788-2794.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249100

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Preference for nectar amino acids varies between different groups of pollinators. Females of several butterfly species have shown a clear preference for nectar mimics containing amino acids over nectar void of amino acids. This investigation examined how larval conditions affect nectar amino acid preferences of butterflies. Larvae of Araschnia levana were raised on low and high food quality diets. Female butterflies raised on the low quality larval diet were smaller and showed a significant preference for the nectar mimic with amino acids, whereas females raised on the high quality diet were larger and showed no preference. Larval food quality did not affect male mass, and male butterflies were indifferent to nectar amino acids. Consequently, female butterflies may compensate for poor larval nutrition by selectively feeding on nectar containing amino acids. These results demonstrate the nutritional plasticity of holometabolous insects and the potential evolutionary significance of nectar amino acids for both plants and their pollinators.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Botanik (Erhardt)
UniBasel Contributors:Erhardt, Andreas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:28
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:03

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