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Visual Orientation of Overwintered Anthonomus pomorum (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Claudia Hausmann, Jörg Samietz, Silvia Dorn
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0046-225X-33.5.1410 1410-1415 First published online: 1 October 2004


Vision is considered to be an important component of the sensory system used by herbivorous insects to locate host plants. We investigated preferences for transmissive colors and contrasts in the apple blossom weevil, Anthonomus pomorum L., which colonizes apple trees, Malus domestica Borkh., in early spring. The main components of the supposed visual system, green, blue, and UV light, were offered to the weevils versus black or versus each other in a dual choice arena. Furthermore, silhouettes of two different achromatic contrasts were offered in front of the colors blue and green. We also tested whether visual preferences change with time, i.e., 2, 4, and 6 d after termination of diapause in early spring. Female weevils chose UV, green, and blue over black, whereas males only chose UV over black in a series of dual choice experiments. Both sexes preferred blue to green. Weevil response to silhouettes of different contrasts was influenced by the background color, i.e., the silhouette with the higher contrast was preferred in front of green, whereas the silhouette with the lower contrast was preferred in front of blue. The preferences during visual orientation did not change with time after diapause. The more discriminating response of females may reflect a greater visual acuity or a greater visual responsiveness in females than in males because of a higher affinity for the host plant. Our findings indicate that weevils might have a trichromatic visual system and that they are able to include visual cues for the location of host plants in the field.

  • Anthonomus pomorum
  • colors
  • vision
  • host finding
  • host plant
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