Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 79–91 | Cite as

The importance of palpation in food selection by a polyphagous grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

  • R. F. Chapman
  • G. Sword


The behavioral responses of final-instar nymphs of Schistocerca americanato a variety of acceptable and unacceptable plants were recorded. Palpation occurred on all plants and the palps are involved in both acceptance and rejection. On most unacceptable plants, rejection was at first dependent on biting the leaf, but subsequently on Lantana, Machaeranthera, Moms,and Physalis,rejection often occurred after palpation of the surface alone. This is consistent with the suggestion that associative learning occurs. This response did not wane even when the insects had been without food for over 2 h. There was also some evidence of an innate response to the surface characteristics of Physalis.The features of the surfaces that produced these responses were not determined.

Key words

associative learning grasshopper palpation plant surface 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. F. Chapman
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Sword
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of ArizonaTucson
  2. 2.Division of NeurobiologyUniversity of ArizonaTucson

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