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Oecologia

, Volume 90, Issue 4, pp 581–585 | Cite as

Preferences and non-preferences for nectar constituents inOrnithoptera priamus poseidon (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae)

  • Andreas Erhardt
Original Papers

Summary

Preferences for nectar sugars and amino acids ofOrnithoptera priamus butterflies were tested experimentally. Both male and female butterflies clearly preferred a sucrose solution over a glucose solution of equal concentration (25%, weight to total weight) and equally a fructose solution over a glucose solution. A significant trend of males to prefer fructose over sucrose and of females to prefer sucrose over fructose was detected. However, neither males nor females discriminated between a mimic ofLantana camara nectar containing amino acids and a corresponding plain sugar solution. These results suggest that butterflies select against glucose in floral nectar but do not support the hypothesis that butterflies select for high levels of amino acids in nectar. The rather unspecific response ofOrnithoptera priamus butterflies to the tested nectar constituents may reflect a generalist feeding strategy of these long-lived and spectacular butterflies.

Key words

Nectar Sugar Amino acids Preferences Ornithoptera priamus poseidon 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Erhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches Institut der Universität BaselBaselSwitzerland

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