Brief SummaryRead full entry
Manduca sexta has been developed as a model system for biological study, and is used in laboratories investigating a broad spectrum of topics such as neurobiology, flight mechanics, larval nicotine resistance, and regulation of development. It has several advantages for study, including its large size, short life cycle and the fact that it is easily reared in lab conditions. In the lab the caterpillars are blue because the artificial wheat germ diet they are fed does not contain the yellow carotenoid pigments that normally combine with insecticyanins to turn their bodies green. The tobacco hornworm has also been used for research projects and teaching science in secondary and college classrooms (http://www.manducaproject.com/; http://www.acad.carleton.edu/curricular/BIOL/resources/rlink/).
(Villanueva 1998; Lange and Bronson 1981; Wikipedia 2011)