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Fall 2012
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Around the Quad

Hawkmoths use Humidity to Locate Nectar

Hawkmoth

 

Flower scent, color, and shape are not always honest advertisements of nectar availability. Professor of neurobiology and behavior Robert Raguso and his former post-doctoral researcher Martin von Arx found that hawkmoths can sense the slight rise in humidity caused by the evaporation of nectar at a distance of one tongue-length, allowing these discriminating consumers to maximize their sweet payoff for pollination.


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