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Vision in the nocturnal wandering spider Leucorchestris arenicola (Araneae : Sparassidae)

Norgaard, Thomas; Nilsson, Dan-E LU ; Henschel, Joh R; Garm, Anders LU and Wehner, Rüdiger (2008) In Journal of Experimental Biology 211(5). p.816-823
Abstract
At night the Namib Desert spider Leucorchestris arenicola performs long-distance homing across its sand dune habitat. By disabling all or pairs of the spiders' eight eyes we found that homing ability was severely reduced when vision was fully abolished. Vision, therefore, seems to play a key role in the nocturnal navigational performances of L. arenicola. After excluding two or three pairs of eyes, the spiders were found to be able to navigate successfully using only their lateral eyes or only their anterior median eyes. Measurement of the eyes' visual fields showed that the secondary eyes combined have a near full (panoramic) view of the surroundings. The visual fields of the principal eyes overlap almost completely with those of the... (More)
At night the Namib Desert spider Leucorchestris arenicola performs long-distance homing across its sand dune habitat. By disabling all or pairs of the spiders' eight eyes we found that homing ability was severely reduced when vision was fully abolished. Vision, therefore, seems to play a key role in the nocturnal navigational performances of L. arenicola. After excluding two or three pairs of eyes, the spiders were found to be able to navigate successfully using only their lateral eyes or only their anterior median eyes. Measurement of the eyes' visual fields showed that the secondary eyes combined have a near full (panoramic) view of the surroundings. The visual fields of the principal eyes overlap almost completely with those of the anterior lateral eyes. Electroretinogram recordings indicate that each eye type contains a single photopigment with sensitivity peaking at similar to 525 nm in the posterior and anteriomedian eyes, and at similar to 540 nm in the anteriolateral eyes. Theoretical calculations of photon catches showed that the eyes are likely to employ a combination of spatial and temporal pooling in order to function at night. Under starlit conditions, the raw spatial and temporal resolution of the eyes is insufficient for detecting any visual information on structures in the landscape, and bright stars would be the only objects visible to the spiders. However, by summation in space and time, the spiders can rescue enough vision to detect coarse landscape structures. We show that L. arenicola spiders are likely to be using temporal summation to navigate at night. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
temporal summation, sensitivity, spectral, electroretinogram, nocturnal navigation, visual field, spider navigation
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
211
issue
5
pages
816 - 823
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000253196600029
  • scopus:42149132723
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.010546
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
40a39d6f-27fe-432e-a566-124bd0a91043 (old id 1196487)
date added to LUP
2008-09-10 11:34:25
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:38:14
@article{40a39d6f-27fe-432e-a566-124bd0a91043,
  abstract     = {At night the Namib Desert spider Leucorchestris arenicola performs long-distance homing across its sand dune habitat. By disabling all or pairs of the spiders' eight eyes we found that homing ability was severely reduced when vision was fully abolished. Vision, therefore, seems to play a key role in the nocturnal navigational performances of L. arenicola. After excluding two or three pairs of eyes, the spiders were found to be able to navigate successfully using only their lateral eyes or only their anterior median eyes. Measurement of the eyes' visual fields showed that the secondary eyes combined have a near full (panoramic) view of the surroundings. The visual fields of the principal eyes overlap almost completely with those of the anterior lateral eyes. Electroretinogram recordings indicate that each eye type contains a single photopigment with sensitivity peaking at similar to 525 nm in the posterior and anteriomedian eyes, and at similar to 540 nm in the anteriolateral eyes. Theoretical calculations of photon catches showed that the eyes are likely to employ a combination of spatial and temporal pooling in order to function at night. Under starlit conditions, the raw spatial and temporal resolution of the eyes is insufficient for detecting any visual information on structures in the landscape, and bright stars would be the only objects visible to the spiders. However, by summation in space and time, the spiders can rescue enough vision to detect coarse landscape structures. We show that L. arenicola spiders are likely to be using temporal summation to navigate at night.},
  author       = {Norgaard, Thomas and Nilsson, Dan-E and Henschel, Joh R and Garm, Anders and Wehner, Rüdiger},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {temporal summation,sensitivity,spectral,electroretinogram,nocturnal navigation,visual field,spider navigation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {816--823},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Vision in the nocturnal wandering spider Leucorchestris arenicola (Araneae : Sparassidae)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.010546},
  volume       = {211},
  year         = {2008},
}