Advanced

Spectral information as an orientation cue in dung beetles

el Jundi, Basil LU ; Foster, James LU ; Marcus J., Byrne; Baird, Emily LU and Dacke, Marie LU (2015) In Biology Letters 11(11).
Abstract
During the day, a non-uniform distribution of long and short wavelength light generates a colour gradient across the sky. This gradient could be used as a compass cue, particularly by animals such as dung beetles that rely primarily on celestial cues for orientation. Here, we tested if dung beetles can use spectral cues for orientation by presenting them with monochromatic (green and UV) light spots in an indoor arena. Beetles kept their original bearing when presented with a single light cue, green or UV, or when presented with both light cues set 180° apart. When either the UV or the green light was turned off after the beetles had set their bearing in the presence of both cues, they were still able to maintain their original bearing to... (More)
During the day, a non-uniform distribution of long and short wavelength light generates a colour gradient across the sky. This gradient could be used as a compass cue, particularly by animals such as dung beetles that rely primarily on celestial cues for orientation. Here, we tested if dung beetles can use spectral cues for orientation by presenting them with monochromatic (green and UV) light spots in an indoor arena. Beetles kept their original bearing when presented with a single light cue, green or UV, or when presented with both light cues set 180° apart. When either the UV or the green light was turned off after the beetles had set their bearing in the presence of both cues, they were still able to maintain their original bearing to the remaining light. However, if the beetles were presented with two identical green light spots set 180° apart, their ability to maintain their original bearing was impaired. In summary, our data show that ball-rolling beetles could potentially use the celestial chromatic gradient as a reference for orientation. (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
Biology Letters
volume
11
issue
11
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • pmid:26538537
  • wos:000364850900006
  • scopus:84946950099
ISSN
1744-9561
DOI
10.1098/rsbl.2015.0656
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8cf3556f-8b44-4f52-b892-7229d59bdeb5 (old id 8232881)
date added to LUP
2015-11-30 11:50:02
date last changed
2017-04-23 03:04:56
@article{8cf3556f-8b44-4f52-b892-7229d59bdeb5,
  abstract     = {During the day, a non-uniform distribution of long and short wavelength light generates a colour gradient across the sky. This gradient could be used as a compass cue, particularly by animals such as dung beetles that rely primarily on celestial cues for orientation. Here, we tested if dung beetles can use spectral cues for orientation by presenting them with monochromatic (green and UV) light spots in an indoor arena. Beetles kept their original bearing when presented with a single light cue, green or UV, or when presented with both light cues set 180° apart. When either the UV or the green light was turned off after the beetles had set their bearing in the presence of both cues, they were still able to maintain their original bearing to the remaining light. However, if the beetles were presented with two identical green light spots set 180° apart, their ability to maintain their original bearing was impaired. In summary, our data show that ball-rolling beetles could potentially use the celestial chromatic gradient as a reference for orientation.},
  articleno    = {20150656},
  author       = {el Jundi, Basil and Foster, James and Marcus J., Byrne and Baird, Emily and Dacke, Marie},
  issn         = {1744-9561},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Biology Letters},
  title        = {Spectral information as an orientation cue in dung beetles},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0656},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2015},
}