Learning in the nectar foraging behaviour of Helicoverpa armigera
Cunningham JP., West SA., Wright DJ.
1. Learning may enable insects to obtain nectar from flowers more efficiently. Learning in nectar foraging has been shown primarily in studies of bees and butterflies. Here, learning is demonstrated in the nectar foraging behaviour of a noctuid moth, Helicoverpa armigera. 2. The present studies show that: (1) previous experience with a flowering host species increases the probability of that species being selected for nectar foraging, and (2) previous experience of a particular flower type (food source at bottom or top of the corolla tube) increases the likelihood of the food source being found when that flower type is being searched. 3. The implications of these findings for understanding the pattern of oviposition observed in wild populations of this important pest species are discussed.