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Tobacco Hornworms

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Description of Research System

Manduca sexta Ecological/Physiological Investigations

Manduca sexta is an excellent candidate for physiological and ecological studies in the teaching lab. Students are intrigued by observing the general development of an organism which grows several thousand percent in size during the larval stage, and then undergoes complete metamorphosis. The larvae can be used for feeding studies on different types of plants, or plants grown under different environmental conditions. Because the eggs are relatively large, moths can be used to investigate oviposition on different types of plants.

Explore the possibilities of using M. sexta for ecological/physiological labs:

Effects of elevated CO2 on herbivory by M. sexta

Ideas for other ecological/physiological experiments using M. sexta

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March 1999