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|Title:||The specialization continuum : decision-making in butterflies with different diet requirements|
|Author:||Menezes Ramos, Bruna de Cassia|
Trigo, Jose Roberto
|Abstract:||Differences in diet requirements may be reflected in how floral visitors make decisions when probing nectar sources that differ in chemical composition. We examined decision-making in butterflies that form a specialization continuum involving pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) when interacting with PA and non-PA plants: Agraulis vanillae (non-specialist), Danaus erippus (low demanding PA-specialist) and D. gilippus (high demanding PA-specialist). In addition, we assessed whether experience affected decision-making. Butterflies were tested on either Tridax procumbens (absence of PAs in nectar) or Ageratum conyzoides flowers (presence of PAs in nectar). Agraulis vanillae showed more acceptance for T. procwnbens and more rejection for A. conyzoides; no differences were recorded for both Danaus species. Agraulis vanillae fed less on A. conyzoides than both Danaus species, which did not differ in this regard. In all butterfly species, experience on PA flowers did not affect feeding time. In the field, butterflies rarely visited PA flowers, regardless of the specialization degree. Our findings reveal that the specialization continuum seen in butterflies explains, at least in part, decision-making processes related to feeding. Additional factors as local adaptation mediated by the use of alternative nectar sources can affect flower visitation by specialist butterflies|
|Appears in Collections:||IB - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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