Acta Entomologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (5): 604-611.doi: 10.16380/j.kcxb.2022.05.008

• RESEARCH PAPERS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Visual and olfactory responses of Danaus chrysippus (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) during foraging and courtship

LIU Jie, LI Ming-Tao, CHEN Shun-An, YAO Jun, SHI Lei*, CHEN Xiao-Ming   

  1.  (Key Laboratory of Cultivating and Utilization of Resources Insects of State Forestry Administration, Institute of Highland Forest Science, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Kunming 650224, China)
  • Online:2022-05-20 Published:2022-05-08

Abstract:  【Aim】 To elucidate the mechanism of visual and olfactory information utilization in the foraging and courtship of Danaus chrysippus. 【Methods】 Through behavioral observations, we tested the foraging response of D. chrysippus to seven different colors of artificial flowers and artificial flowers sprayed with 10% honey water, and verified the behavioral responses of D. chrysippus to color and odor by natural population courtship and plastic model visiting experiments. 【Results】 The total visiting frequency of D. chrysippus adults to seven odorless artificial flowers was 138. D. chrysippus adults showed an obvious color tendency to long-wavelength red (620-750 nm) (accounting for 52.17% of the total visiting frequency), followed by to blue and orange (accounting for 15.22% and 11.59% of the total visiting frequency, respectively), and the proportion of visiting the other four colors was less. After spraying 10% honey water on the artificial flowers, the total visiting frequency of D. chrysippus adults increased by 3.05 times, and the visiting frequencies of female and male adults increased by 3.31 and 2.86 times, respectively. Hardly adult D. chrysippus visited on corolla odorless flower branches. However, after spraying 10% honey water on corolla flowers, the total visiting frequency of adult D. chrysippus increased by 146 times. There was no significant difference in the visiting frequency of D. chrysippus adults to single color and single odor. The total visiting frequency of adult D. chrysippus to odor plus color increased by 2.88 times, and the visiting frequencies of female and male adults increased by 2.95 and 2.83 times, respectively, as compared to those to single odor. The sensitivity of males to color and odor was higher than that of females. In the courtship process, both the natural population and the butterfly wing model had four mating patterns of male chasing male, male chasing female, female chasing female, and female chasing male, but the frequency of chasing odorless butterfly wing model was significantly lower than that of chasing the natural population. Under natural light, the color and pattern of wings of male and female butterflies were similar, and showed no obvious difference except one white sex mark on the ventral side of rear wing of male butterflies. Under ultraviolet light, the color and pattern of butterfly wing models were more obvious than those of natural wings, which may help the opposite sex recognition. 【Conclusion】 Visual and olfactory are equally important during the foraging and courtship of D. chrysippus adults. The color is stable, eye-catching and easy to be found, while the smell is unstable, volatile and greatly disturbed by the environment. Vision is used to conduct initial localization, and smell and taste are used to identify food resources during the foraging of D. chrysippus. In the courtship process, D. chrysippus adults initially distinguish the opposite sex through vision, and then rely on olfactory for precise identification.

Key words: Danaus chrysippus, foraging behavior, courtship behavior, visual response; olfactory response