Terrestrial organisms live in an environment where their own water content normally exceeds that of their surroundings. Small, soft-bodied animals, such as caterpillars, are particularly at risk of dehydration due to cuticular transpiration and respiratory water loss. In response to this, animals have many behavioral and physiological methods for coping with or reducing this water loss. One such method is to relocate to an area of higher relative humidity to reduce saturation deficit and thus reduce net water efflux. We present here the results of experiments that explore the interplay of hydration state and hygropreference in the tobacco hornworm, larval Manduca sexta. Preliminary evidence indicates that tobacco hornworms do show hygropreference in behavior tests under appropriate hydration states and environmental conditions.
Species 1: Lepidoptera Sphingidae Manduca sexta (tobacco hornworm)
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