Advanced

Visual ecology of Indian carpenter bees II: adaptations of eyes and ocelli to nocturnal and diurnal lifestyles.

Somanathan, Hema LU ; Kelber, Almut LU ; Borges, Renee; Wallén, Rita LU and Warrant, Eric LU (2009) In Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology 195. p.571-583
Abstract
Most bees are diurnal, with behaviour that is largely visually mediated, but several groups have made evolutionary shifts to nocturnality, despite having apposition compound eyes unsuited to vision in dim light. We compared the anatomy and optics of the apposition eyes and the ocelli of the nocturnal carpenter bee, Xylocopa tranquebarica, with two sympatric species, the strictly diurnal X. leucothorax and the occasionally crepuscular X. tenuiscapa. The ocelli of the nocturnal X. tranquebarica are unusually large (diameter ca. 1 mm) and poorly focussed. Moreover, their apposition eyes show specific visual adaptations for vision in dim light, including large size, large facets and very wide rhabdoms, which together make these eyes 9 times... (More)
Most bees are diurnal, with behaviour that is largely visually mediated, but several groups have made evolutionary shifts to nocturnality, despite having apposition compound eyes unsuited to vision in dim light. We compared the anatomy and optics of the apposition eyes and the ocelli of the nocturnal carpenter bee, Xylocopa tranquebarica, with two sympatric species, the strictly diurnal X. leucothorax and the occasionally crepuscular X. tenuiscapa. The ocelli of the nocturnal X. tranquebarica are unusually large (diameter ca. 1 mm) and poorly focussed. Moreover, their apposition eyes show specific visual adaptations for vision in dim light, including large size, large facets and very wide rhabdoms, which together make these eyes 9 times more sensitive than those of X. tenuiscapa and 27 times more sensitive than those of X. leucothorax. These differences in optical sensitivity are surprisingly small considering that X. tranquebarica can fly on moonless nights when background luminance is as low as 10(-5) cd m(-2), implying that this bee must employ additional visual strategies to forage and find its way back to the nest. These strategies may include photoreceptors with longer integration times and higher contrast gains as well as higher neural summation mechanisms for increasing visual reliability in dim light. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology
volume
195
pages
571 - 583
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000266584100005
  • scopus:67349265519
ISSN
1432-1351
DOI
10.1007/s00359-009-0432-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
75e52ef2-bfbb-49f3-8bf4-91b8af344714 (old id 1392152)
date added to LUP
2009-05-12 09:36:27
date last changed
2017-12-10 04:18:32
@article{75e52ef2-bfbb-49f3-8bf4-91b8af344714,
  abstract     = {Most bees are diurnal, with behaviour that is largely visually mediated, but several groups have made evolutionary shifts to nocturnality, despite having apposition compound eyes unsuited to vision in dim light. We compared the anatomy and optics of the apposition eyes and the ocelli of the nocturnal carpenter bee, Xylocopa tranquebarica, with two sympatric species, the strictly diurnal X. leucothorax and the occasionally crepuscular X. tenuiscapa. The ocelli of the nocturnal X. tranquebarica are unusually large (diameter ca. 1 mm) and poorly focussed. Moreover, their apposition eyes show specific visual adaptations for vision in dim light, including large size, large facets and very wide rhabdoms, which together make these eyes 9 times more sensitive than those of X. tenuiscapa and 27 times more sensitive than those of X. leucothorax. These differences in optical sensitivity are surprisingly small considering that X. tranquebarica can fly on moonless nights when background luminance is as low as 10(-5) cd m(-2), implying that this bee must employ additional visual strategies to forage and find its way back to the nest. These strategies may include photoreceptors with longer integration times and higher contrast gains as well as higher neural summation mechanisms for increasing visual reliability in dim light.},
  author       = {Somanathan, Hema and Kelber, Almut and Borges, Renee and Wallén, Rita and Warrant, Eric},
  issn         = {1432-1351},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {571--583},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology},
  title        = {Visual ecology of Indian carpenter bees II: adaptations of eyes and ocelli to nocturnal and diurnal lifestyles.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00359-009-0432-9},
  volume       = {195},
  year         = {2009},
}