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Visual ecology of Indian carpenter bees I: Light intensities and flight activity.

Somanathan, Hema LU ; Borges, Renée Maria; Warrant, Eric LU and Kelber, Almut LU (2008) In Journal of Comparative Physiology A 194(1). p.97-107
Abstract
Bees are mostly active during the daytime, but nocturnality has been reported in some bee families. We studied temporal flight activity in three species of carpenter bees (genus Xylocopa) in relation to light intensities. X. leucothorax is diurnal, X. tenuiscapa is largely diurnal being only occasionally crepuscular, while X. tranquebarica is truly nocturnal. Occasional forays into dim light by X. tenuiscapa are likely to be due to the availability of richly rewarding Heterophragma quadriloculare (Bignoniaceae) flowers, which open at night. X. tranquebarica can fly even during the moonless parts of nights when light intensities were lower than 10−5 cd m−2, which makes this species the only truly nocturnal bee known so far. Other known... (More)
Bees are mostly active during the daytime, but nocturnality has been reported in some bee families. We studied temporal flight activity in three species of carpenter bees (genus Xylocopa) in relation to light intensities. X. leucothorax is diurnal, X. tenuiscapa is largely diurnal being only occasionally crepuscular, while X. tranquebarica is truly nocturnal. Occasional forays into dim light by X. tenuiscapa are likely to be due to the availability of richly rewarding Heterophragma quadriloculare (Bignoniaceae) flowers, which open at night. X. tranquebarica can fly even during the moonless parts of nights when light intensities were lower than 10−5 cd m−2, which makes this species the only truly nocturnal bee known so far. Other known dim-light species fly during crepuscular or moonlit periods. We compare eye and body sizes with other known diurnal and dim-light bees. We conclude that while extremely large ocellar diameters, large eye size:body size ratio, large number of ommatidia and large ommatidial diameters are all adaptations to dim-light foraging, these alone do not sufficiently explain the flights of X. tranquebarica in extremely dim light. We hypothesise that additional adaptations must confer extreme nocturnality in X. tranquebarica. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Apoidea · Bees · Compound eyes · Nocturnality · Xylocopa
in
Journal of Comparative Physiology A
volume
194
issue
1
pages
97 - 107
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000252452200009
  • scopus:38049179122
ISSN
1432-1351
DOI
10.1007/s00359-007-0291-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
af577c68-68bb-426a-bd5a-da15bfca68e3 (old id 1022396)
date added to LUP
2008-01-31 15:38:05
date last changed
2017-08-20 04:03:31
@article{af577c68-68bb-426a-bd5a-da15bfca68e3,
  abstract     = {Bees are mostly active during the daytime, but nocturnality has been reported in some bee families. We studied temporal flight activity in three species of carpenter bees (genus Xylocopa) in relation to light intensities. X. leucothorax is diurnal, X. tenuiscapa is largely diurnal being only occasionally crepuscular, while X. tranquebarica is truly nocturnal. Occasional forays into dim light by X. tenuiscapa are likely to be due to the availability of richly rewarding Heterophragma quadriloculare (Bignoniaceae) flowers, which open at night. X. tranquebarica can fly even during the moonless parts of nights when light intensities were lower than 10−5 cd m−2, which makes this species the only truly nocturnal bee known so far. Other known dim-light species fly during crepuscular or moonlit periods. We compare eye and body sizes with other known diurnal and dim-light bees. We conclude that while extremely large ocellar diameters, large eye size:body size ratio, large number of ommatidia and large ommatidial diameters are all adaptations to dim-light foraging, these alone do not sufficiently explain the flights of X. tranquebarica in extremely dim light. We hypothesise that additional adaptations must confer extreme nocturnality in X. tranquebarica.},
  author       = {Somanathan, Hema and Borges, Renée Maria and Warrant, Eric and Kelber, Almut},
  issn         = {1432-1351},
  keyword      = {Apoidea · Bees · Compound eyes ·
Nocturnality · Xylocopa},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {97--107},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of Comparative Physiology A},
  title        = {Visual ecology of Indian carpenter bees I: Light intensities and flight activity.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00359-007-0291-1},
  volume       = {194},
  year         = {2008},
}