Harald W. Krenn

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Harald W. Krenn (born 25 October 1958) in Vienna is an Austrian biologist and a professor for Integrative Zoologie at the Fakultät für Lebenswissenschaften at the university of Vienna.

Harald W. Krenn
Harald W. Krenn.jpg
Born (1958-10-25) October 25, 1958 (age 56)
Residence Austria
Nationality Austrian
Fields zoology
Institutions University of Vienna
Known for insect mouthparts


Harald W. Krenn studied biology and earth science from 1977–78 and zoology and botany at the university of Vienna. He finished a study of lectureship and environmental science and received his PhD in 1987 in zoology and botany. Next to his work as a teacher of biology and as a product manager in the pharmaceutical industry Krenn became assistant professor in 1993 at the Institut für Zoologie at the university of Vienna. After his habilitation in 2001 he became assistant professor at the department of evolutionary biology and from 2012 on at the department of Intergative Zoologie. Since 2012 Krenn is head of Studienprogramme in biology at the university of Vienna.

Scientific contributions[edit]

The investigation of Krenn and coworkers contributed to reveal the form and functional mechanism of insect mouthparts relationships.[1][2][3] The study of insect mouthparts was helpful for the understanding of the functional mechanism of the proboscis of butterflies (Lepidoptera) to elucidate the evolution of new form-function.[4][5] The study of the proboscis of butterflies revealed surprising examples of adaptations to different kinds of fluid food, for example nectar, plant sap, tree sap, dung)[3][6][7] and of adaptations to the use of pollen as complementary food in butterflies of the neotropical genus Heliconius.[8][9] An extreme long proboscis appears within different groups of flower visiting insects, but is relatively rare. Current studies represent the first attempt to evaluate costs and benefits of these long sucking organs taking into consideration sucking and pumping organs of different insects. In a group of Lepidoptera novel mouthpart organ was analysed in detail, not homolog to related Taxa.[10] A novel mouth part organ evolved in the female Yucca moth and serves for the pollination of the larval host plant.

Practical research activity[edit]

The research activity of Harald W. Krenn combines experimental field work, for example at the tropical Field Station La Gamba, Costa Rica, with morphological and experimental studies at the university of Vienna.

Academic Memberships[edit]

  • Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft
  • Austrian Entomological Society
  • Birdlife Austria
  • Auring-Verein
  • Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica


ResearchGate Publication list

Selected Papers:

Krenn HW, Plant J, Szucsich NU (2005) Mouthparts of flower-visiting insects. Arthropod Structure & Development 34: 1-40.

Krenn HW, Gereben-Krenn B-A, Steinwender BM., Popov A (2008) Flower visiting Neuroptera: mouthparts and feeding behaviour of Nemoptera sinuata (Nemopteridae). European Journal of Entomology 105: 267-277.

Krenn HW, Aspöck H (2012) Form, Function and Evolution of the Mouthparts of Blood-Sucking Arthropods. Arthropod Structure & Development 41: 101-118 doi:10.1016/j.asd.2011.12.001.

Wilhemi A, Krenn HW (2012) Elongated mouthparts of nectar-feeding Meloidae (Coleoptera). Zoomorphology 131: 325-337 DOI: 10.1007/s00435-012-0162-3.

Karolyi F, Szucsich NU, Colville JF, Krenn HW. 2012. Adaptations for nectar-feeding in the mouthparts of long-proboscid flies (Nemestrinidae: Prosoeca) Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 107: 414-424.


  1. ^ Krenn HW (1990) Functional morphology and movements of the proboscis of Lepidoptera (Insecta). Zoomorphology 110: 105-114
  2. ^ Krenn HW (2000) Proboscis musculature in the butterfly Vanessa cardui (Nymphalidae, Lepidoptera): settling the proboscis recoiling controversy. Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 81: 259-266
  3. ^ a b Krenn HW (2010) Feeding mechanisms of adult Lepidoptera: structure, function, and evolution of the mouthparts. Annual Review of Entomology 55: 307-327
  4. ^ Krenn HW, Kristensen NP (2000) Early evolution of the proboscis of Lepidoptera: external morphology of the galea in basal glossatan moths, with remarks on the origin of the pilifers. Zoologischer Anzeiger 239: 179-196
  5. ^ Krenn HW, Kristensen NP (2004) Evolution of proboscis musculature in Lepidoptera. European Journal of Entomology 101: 565-575
  6. ^ Krenn HW, Zulka KP, Gatschnegg T (2001) Proboscis morphology and food preferences in Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera, Papilionoidea). Journal of Zoology, London 253, 17-26
  7. ^ Knopp MCN, Krenn HW (2003) Efficiency of fruit juice feeding in Morpho peleides (Nymphalidae, Lepidoptera). Journal of Insect Behavior 16: 67-77
  8. ^ Krenn HW, MJB Eberhard, SH Eberhard, A-L Hikl, W Huber & LE Gilbert (2009) Mechanical damage to pollen aids nutrient acquisition in Heliconius butterflies (Nymphalidae) Arthropod-Plant Interactions 3/4: 203-208
  9. ^ Hikl A-L, Krenn HW (2011) Pollen processing behaviour of Heliconius butterflies: A derived grooming behaviour. Journal of Insect Science 11, Article 95, available online: insectscience.org/11.95
  10. ^ Pellmyr O, Krenn HW (2002) Origin of a complex key innovation in an obligate insect-plant mutualism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 99/8: 5498-5502