Data for: Anthophilous hover flies (Diptera: Syrphidae) may visually discriminate neonicotinoid insecticides in sucrose solution: a choice experiment



These data were collected for an experiment examining effects of neonicotinoid (clothianidin) presence on hover fly (Diptera: Syrphidae) behavior. Hover flies of two species (Eristalis arbustorum and Toxomerus marginatus) were offered a choice to feed on artificial flowers laced with sucrose solution that was either contaminated (CLO) or not contaminated (CON) with clothianidin. Two different concentrations of clothianidin in 0.5 M sucrose solution were tested: 2.5 ppb and 150 ppb. We conducted four sets of 10 trials, each trial set examining a different combination of species and clothianidin dose. Across 6 hours of video for each trial we recorded 1) number of visits to each flower that resulted in feeding, and 2) amount of time spent feeding during each visit.

We found that while neither species fed significantly longer on either of the solutions, E. arbustorum appeared to avoid flowers with clothianidin particularly at high rates. In the paper, we attribute this avoidance response, partially, to hover fly-visible spectral differences between the two flower choices and discuss potential implications for field and lab-based studies.

In the enclosed zip file we have included all data for this project and code scripts from R.

* Note: Data folder contains 4 files (instead of 6 as mentioned in Readme): e.tenax_photoreceptors.csv; hoverfly_data_UPDATE.csv; number_visits_UPDATE.csv; and Original 2018 hover fly choice test data_Clem2020.xlsx
Date made availableFeb 27 2020
PublisherUniversity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


  • Clothianidin
  • Syrphidae
  • Choice Experiment
  • Toxomerus
  • hoverfly
  • Eristalis
  • Neonicotinoid

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