Responses of the blister beetle Hycleus apicicornis to visual stimuli
Lebesa, Lefulesele N.
Khan, Zeyaur R.
Bruce, Toby A.
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Insect attraction to host plants may be partly mediated by visual stimuli. In the present study, the responses of adult Hycleus apicicornis (Gu´er.) (Coleoptera: Meloidae) to plant models of different colours, different combinations of two colours, or three hues of blue of different shapes are compared. Single-colour models comprised the colours sky blue, bright green, yellow, red, white and black. Sky blue (reflecting light in the 440–500 nm region) is the most attractive, followed by white, which reflects light over a broader range (400–700 nm). On landing on sky blue targets, beetles exhibit feeding behaviour immediately. When different hues of blue (of different shapes) are compared, sky blue is preferred over turquoise, followed by dark blue, indicating that H. apicicornis is more attracted to lighter hues of blue than to darker ones. No significant differences are found between the three shapes (circle, square and triangle) tested, suggesting that reflectance associated with colour could be a more important visual cue than shape for host location by H. apicicornis. The preference of H. apicicornis for sky blue can be exploited in designing an attractive trap for its management.