Document Detail

The night-time temporal window of locomotor activity in the Namib Desert long-distance wandering spider, Leucorchestris arenicola.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16283328     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Even though being active exclusively after sunset, the male Leucorchestris arenicola spiders are able to return to their point of departure by following bee-line routes of up to several hundreds of meters in length. While performing this kind of long-distance path integration they must rely on external cues to adjust for navigational errors. Many external cues which could be used by the spiders change dramatically or disappear altogether in the transition period from day to night. Hence, it is therefore imperative to know exactly when after sunset the spiders navigate in order to find out how they do it. To explore this question, we monitored their locomotor activity with data loggers equipped with infrared beam sensors. Our results show that the male spiders are most active in the period between the end and the beginning of the astronomical twilight period. Moreover, they prefer the moonless, i.e. darkest times at night. Hence, we conclude that the males are truly-and extremely-nocturnal. We further show that they are able to navigate under the very dim light conditions prevailing on moonless nights, and thus do not have to rely on the moon or on moon-related patterns of polarised light as potential compass cues.
Thomas Nørgaard; Joh R Henschel; Rüdiger Wehner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2005-11-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology     Volume:  192     ISSN:  0340-7594     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Comp. Physiol. A Neuroethol. Sens. Neural. Behav. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2006 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-03-13     Completed Date:  2006-09-07     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101141792     Medline TA:  J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  365-72     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Zoology, University of Zuerich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zuerich, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Circadian Rhythm
Desert Climate
Homing Behavior
Spiders / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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