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Thread: Butterfly memories

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,942

    Butterfly memories

    Any evidence at all that butterflies remember anything from being caterpillars?
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    18,548
    Yes.
    Insects that undergo complete metamorphosis experience enormous changes in both morphology and lifestyle. The current study examines whether larval experience can persist through pupation into adulthood in Lepidoptera, and assesses two possible mechanisms that could underlie such behavior: exposure of emerging adults to chemicals from the larval environment, or associative learning transferred to adulthood via maintenance of intact synaptic connections. Fifth instar Manduca sexta caterpillars received an electrical shock associatively paired with a specific odor in order to create a conditioned odor aversion, and were assayed for learning in a Y choice apparatus as larvae and again as adult moths. We show that larvae learned to avoid the training odor, and that this aversion was still present in the adults.
    Grant Hutchison

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