Memory Constraints and Flower Choice in Pieris rapae

  title={Memory Constraints and Flower Choice in Pieris rapae},
  author={Alcinda C. Lewis},
  pages={863 - 865}
  • A. C. Lewis
  • Published 16 May 1986
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Science
Darwin hypothesized that flower constancy in insects that feed on nectar results from the need to learn how to extract nectar from a flower of a given species. In laboratory tests, Pieris rapae, the cabbage butterfly, showed flower constancy by continuing to visit flower species with which it had experience. The time required by individuals to find the source of nectar in flowers decreased with successive attempts, the performance following a learning curve. Learning to extract nectar from a… 

The learning abilities of the white cabbage butterfly,Pieris rapae, foraging for flowers

This study examines the role of learning and memory in the butterfly Pieris rapae crucivora Boisduval during foraging for flowers, and indicates that it keeps memory for a period longer than 3 days, and that it can remember at least two flower species as suitable flower resources.

Effect of flower complexity on relearning flower-handling skills in bumble bees

It is proposed that it is more efficient for pollinators to remain constant to one plant species because switching to a second species interferes with their ability to recall a previously learned flower-handling technique.

Can flower constancy in nectaring butterflies be explained by Darwin’s interference hypothesis?

Darwin’s interference hypothesis remains a valid explanation for flower constancy in foraging butterflies, and savings in handling time resulting from constancy must exceed increases in travelling time necessitated by ignoring other suitable species.

Foraging strategies in the small skipper butterfly, Thymelicus flavus : when to switch?

Investigating foraging patterns under natural conditions casts doubt on explanations for flower constancy as an adaptive strategy that minimizes handling time and maximizes resource acquisition per unit time within learning constraints.

Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar

Investigating whether the tendency to rob nectar through previously-made holes (secondary robbing) is influenced by prior foraging experience found that experience did affect bees’ tendency to secondary-rob: trained bees were more likely to adopt the tactic they had previously experienced, contributing to the understanding of nectar robbing from the animals’ perspective.

The role of mechanosensory input in flower handling efficiency and learning by Manduca sexta

It is found that corolla surface area negatively affects flower handling efficiency, and that reliable mechanosensory input is crucial for the moths' performance.

Flower Constancy, Insect Psychology, and Plant Evolution

The way in which floral parameters, such as interplant distances, nectar rewards, flower morphology, and floral color affect constancy is considered, and the implications of pollinator constancy for plant evolution are discussed.

Learning and the Evolution of Resources: Pollinators and Flower Morphology

An examination of a classic mutualism—the flowering plants and their pollinators—reveals that these simple scenarios do not always hold: flowers advertise their presence, as one would expect, but they hide their rewards.

Contrasting the roles of learning in butterflies foraging for nectar and oviposition sites

Adult Edith's checkerspot butterflies are trained to modify their alighting preference for a novel flower and to reduce their handling time when searching for nectar in a flower that was difficult for them to use, providing evidence that these learning abilities contribute to natural foraging behaviour.

Flower constancy and learning in foraging preferences of the green‐veined white butterfly Pleris napi

The mechanisms underlying flower choice in the butterfly, Pieris napi (L.), are assessed, enabling butterflies to avoid flower species which experience has shown are poor sources of nectar, and to adapt to temporal and spatial changes in nectar availability.




The foraging behavior of bumblebees is discussed from a comparative standpoint with other bees and in relation to food distribution and availability in the environment.

Flower visiting and pollen transport by the imported cabbage butterfly (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) in a highly disturbed urban habitat

Throughout their flight season from April to November, adult imported cabbage butterflies (ICBS), Pieris rapae , visited one hybrid and 37 flower species in a large, complex urban vegetable and

"Majoring" and "Minoring" by Foraging Bumblebees, Bombus Vagans: An Experimental Analysis

It is concluded that the most important problem faced by the foraging bees attempting to enhance food intake is that of assessing the resources, which often change rapidly.

The taxonomic discrimination of bees

It is shown that differences in flower colour and form which are discernible to bees can play an important role in isolation between incipient species which as yet have no barriers to crossability other than the behaviour of their pollinators.

Optimal Foraging: A Selective Review of Theory and Tests

The general conclusion is that the simple models so far formulated are supported are supported reasonably well by available data and that the author is optimistic about the value both now and in the future of optimal foraging theory.

Butterflies and their nectar plants: the role of the checkerspot butterfly Euphydryas editha as a pollen vector

Conversation about important issues in ecology, e.g. theory or terminology may also FORUM be included and contributions should be as concise as possible.

Behavioural access to short-term memory in bees

It is concluded that a single mechanism of short- to long-term memory transfer cannot account for the observed bimodal interval dependent behaviour.

How Bees Remember Flower Shapes

New data indicate that this presumptive vertebrate-invertebrate dichotomy is false; bees can store flower patterns as a low-resolution eidetic image or photograph.