Document Detail

The spectral input to honeybee visual odometry.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12796456     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Bees returning from a feeder placed in a narrow tunnel that is lined with a chequered pattern will strongly overestimate travel distance. This finding supports the view that their distance estimation is based on integrating optic flow experienced during flight. Here, we use chequered tunnels with various colour combinations as a tool to identify the spectral channel used by bees to gauge travel distance. The probability of bees performing waggle dances after a short travel distance correlates only with the low range of the green contrast of the pattern in the tunnel. But it does not correlate with the pattern's chromatic contrast or brightness contrast. Distance estimation is therefore colour blind. We also evaluated the waggle runs as a function of colour pattern. Their duration is the code for the food source distance. Waggle run duration is entirely independent of the colour pattern used, implying that once green contrast is above detection threshold, distance estimation depends solely on the angular motion of the landscape passed in flight.
Lars Chittka; Jürgen Tautz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  206     ISSN:  0022-0949     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2003 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-06-10     Completed Date:  2003-11-04     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2393-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Biozentrum, Zoologie II, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Communication
Bees / physiology*
Color Perception / physiology
Distance Perception / physiology*
Flight, Animal / physiology*
Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*

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