Advanced

Crepuscular and nocturnal illumination and its effects on color perception by the nocturnal hawkmoth Deilephila elpenor

Johnsen, S; Kelber, Almut LU ; Warrant, Eric LU ; Sweeney, AM; Widder, EA; Lee, RL and Hernandez-Andres, J (2006) In Journal of Experimental Biology 209(5). p.789-800
Abstract
Recent studies have shown that certain nocturnal insect and vertebrate species have true color vision under nocturnal illumination. Thus, their vision is potentially affected by changes in the spectral quality of twilight and nocturnal illumination, due to the presence or absence of the moon, artificial light pollution and other factors. We investigated this in the following manner. First we measured the spectral irradiance (from 300 to 700 nm) during the day, sunset, twilight, full moon, new moon, and in the presence of high levels of light pollution. The spectra were then converted to both human-based chromaticities and to relative quantum catches for the nocturnal hawkmoth Dedephila elpenor, which has color vision. The reflectance... (More)
Recent studies have shown that certain nocturnal insect and vertebrate species have true color vision under nocturnal illumination. Thus, their vision is potentially affected by changes in the spectral quality of twilight and nocturnal illumination, due to the presence or absence of the moon, artificial light pollution and other factors. We investigated this in the following manner. First we measured the spectral irradiance (from 300 to 700 nm) during the day, sunset, twilight, full moon, new moon, and in the presence of high levels of light pollution. The spectra were then converted to both human-based chromaticities and to relative quantum catches for the nocturnal hawkmoth Dedephila elpenor, which has color vision. The reflectance spectra of various flowers and leaves and the red hindwings of D. elpenor were also converted to chromaticities and relative quantum catches. Finally, the achromatic and chromatic contrasts (with and without von Kries color constancy) of the flowers and hindwings against a leaf background were determined under the various lighting environments. The twilight and nocturnal illuminants; were substantially different from each other, resulting in significantly different contrasts. The addition of von Kries color constancy significantly reduced the effect of changing illuminants; on chromatic contrast, suggesting that, even in this light-limited environment, the ability of color vision to provide reliable signals under changing illuminants; may offset the concurrent threefold decrease in sensitivity and spatial resolution. Given this, color vision may be more common in crepuscular and nocturnal species than previously considered. (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
Dedephila elpenor, environmental optics, nocturnal vision, hawkmoth, color vision
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
209
issue
5
pages
789 - 800
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000236476100011
  • pmid:16481568
  • scopus:33645285580
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.02053
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4e16d237-12a6-494b-8162-9966d076bd9f (old id 414782)
date added to LUP
2007-10-07 11:27:49
date last changed
2019-08-07 01:42:20
@article{4e16d237-12a6-494b-8162-9966d076bd9f,
  abstract     = {Recent studies have shown that certain nocturnal insect and vertebrate species have true color vision under nocturnal illumination. Thus, their vision is potentially affected by changes in the spectral quality of twilight and nocturnal illumination, due to the presence or absence of the moon, artificial light pollution and other factors. We investigated this in the following manner. First we measured the spectral irradiance (from 300 to 700 nm) during the day, sunset, twilight, full moon, new moon, and in the presence of high levels of light pollution. The spectra were then converted to both human-based chromaticities and to relative quantum catches for the nocturnal hawkmoth Dedephila elpenor, which has color vision. The reflectance spectra of various flowers and leaves and the red hindwings of D. elpenor were also converted to chromaticities and relative quantum catches. Finally, the achromatic and chromatic contrasts (with and without von Kries color constancy) of the flowers and hindwings against a leaf background were determined under the various lighting environments. The twilight and nocturnal illuminants; were substantially different from each other, resulting in significantly different contrasts. The addition of von Kries color constancy significantly reduced the effect of changing illuminants; on chromatic contrast, suggesting that, even in this light-limited environment, the ability of color vision to provide reliable signals under changing illuminants; may offset the concurrent threefold decrease in sensitivity and spatial resolution. Given this, color vision may be more common in crepuscular and nocturnal species than previously considered.},
  author       = {Johnsen, S and Kelber, Almut and Warrant, Eric and Sweeney, AM and Widder, EA and Lee, RL and Hernandez-Andres, J},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {Dedephila elpenor,environmental optics,nocturnal vision,hawkmoth,color vision},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {789--800},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Crepuscular and nocturnal illumination and its effects on color perception by the nocturnal hawkmoth Deilephila elpenor},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.02053},
  volume       = {209},
  year         = {2006},
}