Spontaneous feeding response to colours inPapilio demoleus L

  • Dora Ilse
  • Vidyadhar G. Vaidya


1. Freshly emerged imagines ofPapilio demoleus, which had no previous experience with colour, were kept in a large cage devoid of any coloured object apart from those specially provided for the experiments.

2. These were offered artificial coloured flowers prepared from the standardized Ostwald series.

3. On the coloured flowers, the inexperienced unfed specimens showed a characteristic feeding response: they approached the artificial flower in flight, landed on it and unrolled their tongues with which they performed probing and sucking movements on the paper.

4. The results clearly show thatPapilio demoleus in the feeding state, is mainly attracted to the blue and purple colours while the yellow, yellowish-green, green and blue-green colours are completely neglected.

5. Thus, they have provided a proof that certain insects, contrary to Forel’s assumption (1910), show not only acquired but also inborn or spontaneous preferences for colours.


Artificial Flower Purple Colour Coloured Object Grey Shade Large Cage 
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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 1956

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dora Ilse
    • 1
  • Vidyadhar G. Vaidya
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of PoonaIndia

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