Eur. J. Entomol. 113: 429-437, 2016 | 10.14411/eje.2016.056

Implications of insect responses to supernormal visual releasing stimuli in intersexual communication and flower-visiting behaviour: A review

Karl KRAL
Institute of Zoology, Karl-Franzens University Graz, Universitaetsplatz 2, A-8010 Graz, Austria; e-mails: karlkral@aon.at, karl.kral@uni-graz.at

Animals, including human beings, tend to respond more strongly to stimuli that are associated with the highest relative rewards. This applies not only to food rewards but also to reproductive success. In the present review article this issue is discussed for insects in connection with intersexual communication and flower-visiting behaviour. Implications of the preference for supernormal visual releasing stimuli are examined from a sensory and evolutionary perspective, including a consideration of the choice of potential mates and recognition of the most rewarding flowers.

Keywords: Insects, butterflies, bumblebees, visual stimuli, pollinators, mating, foraging, orchid mimicry, food reward, floral size, floral symmetry, ultraviolet signals

Received: March 12, 2016; Accepted: June 13, 2016; Published online: August 9, 2016

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