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J Exp Biol. 1996;199(Pt 5):1127-31.

Colour learning in the hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum


Newly eclosed specimens of the day-active hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum were trained to artificial flowers in dual-colour choice situations. Learning curves were obtained from learning and reversed-learning experiments. Initially, learning behaviour was influenced by innate colour preferences. In comparison with other lepidopterans, Macroglossum stellatarum learns well. When trained in a dual-choice situation, the moths learned not only to visit the rewarded colour but also to avoid the unrewarded colour. These good learning abilities are discussed in the context of the biology of the species.

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