Chemoreceptors play an extremely important role in butterfly life. Outside of helping the butterfly recognize and taste food, they serve to do more.
The sensory systems that butterflies possess are:
The most highly developed senses the butterfly
relies on are -
Taste, Smell and Sight.
When seeking food the butterfly places their tarsi, or feet, on possible food sources. Chemo-receptors in the tarsi then relay the food source information to the butterfly brain and simultaneously receptor cells confirm that the food is or is not good. If determined food is good to eat, instinctively the proboscis, or tongue, unrolls ready to take in the nutrients.
When the proboscis is placed on the butterfly food, enzymes are excreted that mix with pollens and turn food into a liquid form. The proboscis then sucks up the necessary nutrients.
Using this part of her legs, the female will steadily tap her legs on the plant or leaves. Eventually releasing juices, the female is able to identify the plant as a good host or not by these juices.
This short video captures every detail of
butterfly legs and tarsi and setae. (No sound)
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