I'm thinking of planting some of this on my patio to draw some
beneficial insects. The patio will have a clear polycarbonate roof over
part of it, that will overhang a plywood roof over the far back of it.
There will be some airspace at the overhang.
Do the insects navigate by smell to these plants, or sight? If by
smell, there should be no problem. If by sight, they might be
dive-bombing the plastic kamikaze style.
I've never heard of insects hitting a stationary window (or clear
roof) as being a problem. Birds, yes. So I can't speak with any
authority, or real knowledge, but if it were me I wouldn't worry about
I was sort of kidding about the dive bombing. Mostly was just wondering
if they navigate by smell, and can figure the location of something.
Given the nature of flies, for instance, they're probably quite good at it.
Well, my brain is starting to engage, and since you mention flies, the
Paw Paw (Asimina triloba) is pollinated by flies, and farmers used to
hang rotting meat in the orchards to attract flies. So in that case I
think we can clearly say "yes" to navigation by smell.
I don't know, my favorite book about insect biology is "For the love
of insects" (by Thomas Eisner) but that one is almost exclusively
about chemical defenses, not about attraction. I don't know if
someone has written something similar about the latter.
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