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Nocturnal homing: learning walks in a wandering spider?

Nørgaard, Thomas LU ; Gagnon, Yakir LU and Warrant, Eric LU (2012) In PLoS ONE 7(11).
Abstract
Homing by the nocturnal Namib Desert spider Leucorchestris arenicola (Araneae: Sparassidae) is comparable to homing in diurnal bees, wasps and ants in terms of path length and layout. The spiders' homing is based on vision but their basic navigational strategy is unclear. Diurnal homing insects use memorised views of their home in snapshot matching strategies. The insects learn the visual scenery identifying their nest location during learning flights (e.g. bees and wasps) or walks (ants). These learning flights and walks are stereotyped movement patterns clearly different from other movement behaviours. If the visual homing of L. arenicola is also based on an image matching strategy they are likely to exhibit learning walks similar to... (More)
Homing by the nocturnal Namib Desert spider Leucorchestris arenicola (Araneae: Sparassidae) is comparable to homing in diurnal bees, wasps and ants in terms of path length and layout. The spiders' homing is based on vision but their basic navigational strategy is unclear. Diurnal homing insects use memorised views of their home in snapshot matching strategies. The insects learn the visual scenery identifying their nest location during learning flights (e.g. bees and wasps) or walks (ants). These learning flights and walks are stereotyped movement patterns clearly different from other movement behaviours. If the visual homing of L. arenicola is also based on an image matching strategy they are likely to exhibit learning walks similar to diurnal insects. To explore this possibility we recorded departures of spiders from a new burrow in an unfamiliar area with infrared cameras and analysed their paths using computer tracking techniques. We found that L. arenicola performs distinct stereotyped movement patterns during the first part of their departures in an unfamiliar area and that they seem to learn the appearance of their home during these movement patterns. We conclude that the spiders perform learning walks and this strongly suggests that L. arenicola uses a visual memory of the burrow location when homing. (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
PLoS ONE
volume
7
issue
11
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • wos:000311935800238
  • pmid:23145137
  • scopus:84868690203
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0049263
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0cd8778a-d0f4-4f6c-bf9c-634b1cd8c1c4 (old id 3219016)
date added to LUP
2012-12-18 13:50:33
date last changed
2017-08-06 04:22:18
@article{0cd8778a-d0f4-4f6c-bf9c-634b1cd8c1c4,
  abstract     = {Homing by the nocturnal Namib Desert spider Leucorchestris arenicola (Araneae: Sparassidae) is comparable to homing in diurnal bees, wasps and ants in terms of path length and layout. The spiders' homing is based on vision but their basic navigational strategy is unclear. Diurnal homing insects use memorised views of their home in snapshot matching strategies. The insects learn the visual scenery identifying their nest location during learning flights (e.g. bees and wasps) or walks (ants). These learning flights and walks are stereotyped movement patterns clearly different from other movement behaviours. If the visual homing of L. arenicola is also based on an image matching strategy they are likely to exhibit learning walks similar to diurnal insects. To explore this possibility we recorded departures of spiders from a new burrow in an unfamiliar area with infrared cameras and analysed their paths using computer tracking techniques. We found that L. arenicola performs distinct stereotyped movement patterns during the first part of their departures in an unfamiliar area and that they seem to learn the appearance of their home during these movement patterns. We conclude that the spiders perform learning walks and this strongly suggests that L. arenicola uses a visual memory of the burrow location when homing.},
  articleno    = {e49263},
  author       = {Nørgaard, Thomas and Gagnon, Yakir and Warrant, Eric},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Nocturnal homing: learning walks in a wandering spider?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0049263},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2012},
}