Neuroethology of oviposition behavior in the moth manduca sexta

Carolina E. Reisenman, Jeffrey A. Riffell, John G. Hildebrand

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations


Olfactory cues play decisive roles in the lives of most insect species, providing information about biologically relevant resources, such as food, mates, and oviposition sites. The nocturnal moth Manduca sexta feeds on floral nectar from a variety of plants (and thus serves as a pollinator), but females oviposit almost exclusively on solanaceous plants, which they recognize on the basis of olfactory cues. Plants, however, respond to herbivory by releasing blends of volatiles that attract natural enemies of herbivores. Thus, oviposition behavior probably results from the sensory evaluation not only of attractive host plant volatiles but also of repellent volatiles that indicate the acceptability or inappropriateness, respectively, of host plants for the females' offspring. Here we describe results from chemical-ecological, neurophysiological, and behavioral experiments aimed at understanding the neural mechanisms that control oviposition behavior in M. sexta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium on Olfaction and Taste
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781573317382
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Herbivory
  • Insect
  • Manduca sexta
  • Moth
  • Olfaction
  • Oviposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuroethology of oviposition behavior in the moth manduca sexta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this