Presence and distribution of sensory structures on the mouthparts of self-medicating moths

J. M. Zaspel, S. Coy, K. Habanek, S. J. Weller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Unique structures often accompany unusual feeding behaviors in erebid moths. We test whether self-medicating (e.g., pharmacophagous) adult tiger moths have specialized structures on their mouthparts. We examined mouthparts of pharmacophagous and non-pharmacophagous adults using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Self-medicating adults had significantly higher numbers of chemosensory structures when compared with non-self-medicating adults. Putative olfactory sensilla are reported on the proboscis of Nyctemera coleta and pollen grains were found adhered to the proboscis of Nyctemera secundiana. Sensilla on the observed tiger moth proboscides may play a role in the recognition of pyrrolizidine alkaloid plants by pharmacophagous adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-10
Number of pages5
JournalZoologischer Anzeiger
Volume253
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Pharmacophagy
  • Proboscis
  • Tiger moth

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