Advanced

Bumblebees perform well-controlled landings in dim light

Reber, Therese LU ; Dacke, Marie LU ; Warrant, Eric LU and Baird, Emily LU (2016) In Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10(SEP).
Abstract

To make a smooth touchdown when landing, an insect must be able to reliably control its approach speed as well as its body and leg position—behaviors that are thought to be regulated primarily by visual information. Bumblebees forage and land under a broad range of light intensities and while their behavior during the final moments of landing has been described in detail in bright light, little is known about how this is affected by decreasing light intensity. Here, we investigate this by characterizing the performance of bumblebees, B. terrestris, landing on a flat platform at two different orientations (horizontal and vertical) and at four different light intensities (ranging from 600 lx down to 19 lx). As light intensity decreased,... (More)

To make a smooth touchdown when landing, an insect must be able to reliably control its approach speed as well as its body and leg position—behaviors that are thought to be regulated primarily by visual information. Bumblebees forage and land under a broad range of light intensities and while their behavior during the final moments of landing has been described in detail in bright light, little is known about how this is affected by decreasing light intensity. Here, we investigate this by characterizing the performance of bumblebees, B. terrestris, landing on a flat platform at two different orientations (horizontal and vertical) and at four different light intensities (ranging from 600 lx down to 19 lx). As light intensity decreased, the bees modified their body position and the distance at which they extended their legs, suggesting that the control of landing in these insects is visually mediated. Nevertheless, the effect of light intensity was small and the landings were still well controlled, even in the dimmest light. We suggest that the changes in landing behavior that occurred in dim light might represent adaptations that allow the bees to perform smooth landings across the broad range of light intensities at which they are active.

(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
Behavioral adaptation, Bombus terrestris, Bumblebee, Flight, Insect, Landing, Light intensity, Vision
in
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
volume
10
issue
SEP
publisher
Frontiers
external identifiers
  • scopus:84988599510
  • wos:000382911700001
ISSN
1662-5153
DOI
10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00174
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
dc4eee7d-4962-44e1-8187-1cd67fb13b92
date added to LUP
2016-11-04 10:26:28
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:38:34
@article{dc4eee7d-4962-44e1-8187-1cd67fb13b92,
  abstract     = {<p>To make a smooth touchdown when landing, an insect must be able to reliably control its approach speed as well as its body and leg position—behaviors that are thought to be regulated primarily by visual information. Bumblebees forage and land under a broad range of light intensities and while their behavior during the final moments of landing has been described in detail in bright light, little is known about how this is affected by decreasing light intensity. Here, we investigate this by characterizing the performance of bumblebees, B. terrestris, landing on a flat platform at two different orientations (horizontal and vertical) and at four different light intensities (ranging from 600 lx down to 19 lx). As light intensity decreased, the bees modified their body position and the distance at which they extended their legs, suggesting that the control of landing in these insects is visually mediated. Nevertheless, the effect of light intensity was small and the landings were still well controlled, even in the dimmest light. We suggest that the changes in landing behavior that occurred in dim light might represent adaptations that allow the bees to perform smooth landings across the broad range of light intensities at which they are active.</p>},
  articleno    = {174},
  author       = {Reber, Therese and Dacke, Marie and Warrant, Eric and Baird, Emily},
  issn         = {1662-5153},
  keyword      = {Behavioral adaptation,Bombus terrestris,Bumblebee,Flight,Insect,Landing,Light intensity,Vision},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {SEP},
  publisher    = {Frontiers},
  series       = {Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience},
  title        = {Bumblebees perform well-controlled landings in dim light},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00174},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2016},
}