We investigated the ability of colour discrimination and learning in male adults of nocturnal cotton bollworm moth, Helicoverpa armigera, under a dim light condition. The naïve moths preferred blue and discriminated the innately preferred blue from several shades of grey indicating that the moths have colour vision. After being trained for 2 days to take nectar at yellow, an innately non-preferred colour, moths learned to select yellow over blue. The choice distribution between yellow and blue changed significantly from that of naïve moths. However, the dual choice distribution of the trained moths was not significantly biased to yellow: the preference for blue is robust. We also tried to train moths to grey, which was not successful. The limited ability to learn colours suggests that H. armigera may not strongly rely on colours when searching for flowers in the field, although they have basic property of colour vision.
- Received August 9, 2016.
- Accepted October 2, 2016.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd