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Journal Article

Sex or food? Appetetive learning of sex odors in a male moth

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Hartlieb, E., Hansson, B., & Anderson, P. (1999). Sex or food? Appetetive learning of sex odors in a male moth. Naturwissenschaften, 86(8), 396-399. doi:10.1007/s001140050640.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-5D4E-B
Abstract
Moths learn to associate a newer odor with a food reward after a few learning trials. Can a hungry, male moth learn to associate a sex attractant with food instead of with sex? We provided a hungry male with odors of single female sex pheromone components, of the full sex pheromone blend or of a newer odor component as cues in an appetitive learning assay. The male learned the single pheromone components just as well as the newer odor. Learning was, however, severely impaired when the full sex pheromone blend was used as conditioning stimulus. The "hard-wiring" between pheromone odor and sex thus seems to be restricted to those circumstances when the male moth experiences the full blend.