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Accelerated landings in stingless bees are triggered by visual threshold cues

Tichit, Pierre LU ; Alves-Dos-Santos, Isabel ; Dacke, Marie LU and Baird, Emily LU (2020) In Biology letters 16(8).
Abstract

Most flying animals rely primarily on visual cues to coordinate and control their trajectory when landing. Studies of visually guided landing typically involve animals that decrease their speed before touchdown. Here, we investigate the control strategy of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona depilis, which instead accelerates when landing on its narrow hive entrance. By presenting artificial targets that resemble the entrance at different locations on the hive, we show that these accelerated landings are triggered by visual cues. We also found that S. depilis initiated landing and extended their legs when the angular size of the target reached a given threshold. Regardless of target size, the magnitude of acceleration was the same and the... (More)

Most flying animals rely primarily on visual cues to coordinate and control their trajectory when landing. Studies of visually guided landing typically involve animals that decrease their speed before touchdown. Here, we investigate the control strategy of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona depilis, which instead accelerates when landing on its narrow hive entrance. By presenting artificial targets that resemble the entrance at different locations on the hive, we show that these accelerated landings are triggered by visual cues. We also found that S. depilis initiated landing and extended their legs when the angular size of the target reached a given threshold. Regardless of target size, the magnitude of acceleration was the same and the bees aimed for the same relative position on the target suggesting that S. depilis use a computationally simple but elegant 'stereotyped' landing strategy that requires few visual cues.

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author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
flight control, landing, leg extension, Scaptotrigona depilis, stingless bees, vision
in
Biology letters
volume
16
issue
8
article number
20200437
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • pmid:32842893
  • scopus:85089933862
ISSN
1744-9561
DOI
10.1098/rsbl.2020.0437
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
24193779-fa6a-4bbd-93c2-68bc4cdf1782
date added to LUP
2020-09-08 12:38:40
date last changed
2021-04-20 04:18:13
@article{24193779-fa6a-4bbd-93c2-68bc4cdf1782,
  abstract     = {<p>Most flying animals rely primarily on visual cues to coordinate and control their trajectory when landing. Studies of visually guided landing typically involve animals that decrease their speed before touchdown. Here, we investigate the control strategy of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona depilis, which instead accelerates when landing on its narrow hive entrance. By presenting artificial targets that resemble the entrance at different locations on the hive, we show that these accelerated landings are triggered by visual cues. We also found that S. depilis initiated landing and extended their legs when the angular size of the target reached a given threshold. Regardless of target size, the magnitude of acceleration was the same and the bees aimed for the same relative position on the target suggesting that S. depilis use a computationally simple but elegant 'stereotyped' landing strategy that requires few visual cues.</p>},
  author       = {Tichit, Pierre and Alves-Dos-Santos, Isabel and Dacke, Marie and Baird, Emily},
  issn         = {1744-9561},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Biology letters},
  title        = {Accelerated landings in stingless bees are triggered by visual threshold cues},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0437},
  doi          = {10.1098/rsbl.2020.0437},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2020},
}