Mating frequency influences nectar amino acid preference of Pieris napi

Mevi-Schutz, J. and Erhardt, A.. (2004) Mating frequency influences nectar amino acid preference of Pieris napi. Proceedings of the Royal Society. Series B, Biological sciences, Vol. 271. pp. 153-158.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249095

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It is generally assumed that butterflies, as is the case with many holometabolous insects, rely primarily on nutrients gathered by larval feeding for somatic maintenance and fecundity. These reserves can be supplemented by adult feeding and in some cases by nuptial gifts passed from the males to the females during mating. Recent findings indicate that female butterflies detect and prefer nectar with high levels of amino acids, thus calling new attention to this nutritive source. Polyandrous species can further supplement their larval stores with additional nuptial gifts. This study examined how mating frequency of the polyandrous butterfly Pieris napi affects the female`s preference for nectar amino acids. Females of this species generally detect and prefer nectar mimics containing amino acids. However, nectar amino acid preference is significantly lower in mated females. Furthermore, nectar amino acid preference increases when females are not allowed to remate, whereas the preference of twice-mated females remains constant at a lower level. These results indicate a versatile response of females to nectar amino acids, depending on their nutritional status; they may even switch their source of amino acids between adult feeding and nuptial gifts.
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:The Royal Society
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 14:04

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