Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Search Behaviour: a Study of Three Caterpillar Species

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

1. The searching behaviour of three species of caterpillar-Pievis rapae L., Plusia californica Speyer, and Plutella maculipennis (Curt.)-has been described and the descriptions incorporated into simulation models. 2. Canadian P. rapae were studied in most detail. Their behaviour changes with hunger. When replete, a larva moves slowly, turns often, and 'head-waves' frequently. As it becomes hungrier, it speeds up, straightens out, and stops head-waving. At the same time, the distance from which it can perceive a host plant decreases. All these changes can be temporarily reversed by allowing the caterpillar to contact (but not necessarily feed on) a host plant. The rate at which the changes occur is temperature-dependent. 3. Simulation of these search patterns shows that the replete behaviour (called 'conservative search') is appropriate to searching within a small clump of plants, whereas the later behaviour ('radical search') is appropriate to random or uniform distributions and low plant densities. 4. Australian P. rapae showed the same pattern of behaviour, but the changes were less pronounced. They neither began their search as conservatively, nor adopted such radical search patterns later. 5. Neither Plusia californica nor Plutella maculipennis show substantial changes in behaviour as they starve. Plusia always travels rapidly and with a moderate amount of head-waving. It turns infrequently and has a tendency to zig-zag. Thus it uses radical search from the beginning. Plutella is just the opposite. It moves slowly, head-waves frequently, and turns often; it maintains this conservative search pattern throughout. 6. The relationship of these species' behaviour to the distribution of their host plants is discussed. P. rapae and Plutella both feed on cruciferous plants, which tend to occur in small clumps where conservative search is appropriate behaviour. (Plutella's failure to change its behaviour if unsuccessful may be related to its relatively low voracity and to the timing of its life cycle.) Plusia is polyphagous, so its resources are distributed less contagiously, and radical search is appropriate behaviour. 7. Other circumstances where the different types of search are appropriate behaviour are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: (Institute of Animal Resource Ecology, U.B.C., Vancouver, B.C., Canada


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation