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Out of the blue: the spectral sensitivity of hummingbird hawkmoths.

Telles, Francismeire Jane; Lind, Olle LU ; Henze, Miriam LU ; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel Angel; Goyret, Joaquin LU and Kelber, Almut LU (2014) In Journal of Comparative Physiology A 200(6). p.537-546
Abstract
The European hummingbird hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum is a diurnal nectar forager like the honeybee, and we expect similarities in their sensory ecology. Using behavioural tests and electroretinograms (ERGs), we studied the spectral sensitivity of M. stellatarum. By measuring ERGs in the dark-adapted eye and after adaptation to green light, we determined that M. stellatarum has ultraviolet (UV), blue and green receptors maximally sensitive at 349, 440 and 521 nm, and confirmed that green receptors are most frequent in the retina. To determine the behavioural spectral sensitivity (action spectrum) of foraging moths, we trained animals to associate a disk illuminated with spectral light, with a food reward, and a dark disk with no... (More)
The European hummingbird hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum is a diurnal nectar forager like the honeybee, and we expect similarities in their sensory ecology. Using behavioural tests and electroretinograms (ERGs), we studied the spectral sensitivity of M. stellatarum. By measuring ERGs in the dark-adapted eye and after adaptation to green light, we determined that M. stellatarum has ultraviolet (UV), blue and green receptors maximally sensitive at 349, 440 and 521 nm, and confirmed that green receptors are most frequent in the retina. To determine the behavioural spectral sensitivity (action spectrum) of foraging moths, we trained animals to associate a disk illuminated with spectral light, with a food reward, and a dark disk with no reward. While the spectral positions of sensitivity maxima found in behavioural tests agree with model predictions based on the ERG data, the sensitivity to blue light was 30 times higher than expected. This is different from the honeybee but similar to earlier findings in the crepuscular hawkmoth Manduca sexta. It may indicate that the action spectrum of foraging hawkmoths does not represent their general sensory capacity. We suggest that the elevated sensitivity to blue light is related to the innate preference of hawkmoths for blue flowers. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Macroglossum stellatarum, Spectral sensitivity, Sphingidae, Insect colour vision, Action spectrum
in
Journal of Comparative Physiology A
volume
200
issue
6
pages
537 - 546
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • pmid:24553915
  • wos:000336739800011
  • scopus:84901686711
ISSN
1432-1351
DOI
10.1007/s00359-014-0888-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f5ea4fc5-ee9f-42e0-a9b3-33a05ba65c9b (old id 4334377)
date added to LUP
2014-03-11 16:36:41
date last changed
2017-08-27 03:45:45
@article{f5ea4fc5-ee9f-42e0-a9b3-33a05ba65c9b,
  abstract     = {The European hummingbird hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum is a diurnal nectar forager like the honeybee, and we expect similarities in their sensory ecology. Using behavioural tests and electroretinograms (ERGs), we studied the spectral sensitivity of M. stellatarum. By measuring ERGs in the dark-adapted eye and after adaptation to green light, we determined that M. stellatarum has ultraviolet (UV), blue and green receptors maximally sensitive at 349, 440 and 521 nm, and confirmed that green receptors are most frequent in the retina. To determine the behavioural spectral sensitivity (action spectrum) of foraging moths, we trained animals to associate a disk illuminated with spectral light, with a food reward, and a dark disk with no reward. While the spectral positions of sensitivity maxima found in behavioural tests agree with model predictions based on the ERG data, the sensitivity to blue light was 30 times higher than expected. This is different from the honeybee but similar to earlier findings in the crepuscular hawkmoth Manduca sexta. It may indicate that the action spectrum of foraging hawkmoths does not represent their general sensory capacity. We suggest that the elevated sensitivity to blue light is related to the innate preference of hawkmoths for blue flowers.},
  author       = {Telles, Francismeire Jane and Lind, Olle and Henze, Miriam and Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel Angel and Goyret, Joaquin and Kelber, Almut},
  issn         = {1432-1351},
  keyword      = {Macroglossum stellatarum,Spectral sensitivity,Sphingidae,Insect colour vision,Action spectrum},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {537--546},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of Comparative Physiology A},
  title        = {Out of the blue: the spectral sensitivity of hummingbird hawkmoths.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00359-014-0888-0},
  volume       = {200},
  year         = {2014},
}