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High contrast sensitivity for visually guided flight control in bumblebees

Many insects rely on vision to find food, to return to their nest and to carefully control their flight between these two locations. The amount of information available to support these tasks is, in part, dictated by the spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity of their visual systems. Here, we investigate the absolute limits of these visual properties for visually guided...

How bumblebees use lateral and ventral optic flow cues for position control in environments of different proximity

generated across the retina as an animal moves through its world) Emily Baird and Marie Dacke contributed equally to this work. * Nellie Linander generated by translational motion to adjust their speed

Learning of Multi-Modal Stimuli in Hawkmoths

The hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, uses both colour and odour to find flowers when foraging for nectar. In the present study we investigated how vision and olfaction interact during learning. Manduca sexta were equally attracted to a scented blue coloured feeding target (multimodal stimulus) as to one that does not carry any scent (unimodal stimulus; visual) or to an invisible scented...

Fog-basking behaviour and water collection efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling beetles

Background In the Namib Desert fog represents an alternative water source. This is utilised by Darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae) that employ different strategies for obtaining the fog water. Some dig trenches in the sand, while others use their own bodies as fog collectors assuming a characteristic fog-basking stance. Two beetle species from the genus Onymacris have been observed...

Animal or Plant: Which Is the Better Fog Water Collector?

Occasional fog is a critical water source utilised by plants and animals in the Namib Desert. Fog basking beetles (Onymacris unguicularis, Tenebrionidae) and Namib dune bushman grass (Stipagrostris sabulicola, Poaceae) collect water directly from the fog. While the beetles position themselves optimally for fog water collection on dune ridges, the grass occurs predominantly at the...

Nocturnal insects use optic flow for flight control

Emily Baird () Eva Kreiss William Wcislo Eric Warrant Marie Dacke 0 Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute , Balboa, Republic of Panama 1 Department of Zoology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms

Elytra boost lift, but reduce aerodynamic efficiency in flying beetles

Johansson*, Sophia Engel, Emily Baird, Marie Dacke, Florian T. Muijres and Anders Hedenstro m Flying insects typically possess two pairs of wings. In beetles, the front pair has evolved into short, hardened

The Dung Beetle Dance: An Orientation Behaviour?

An interesting feature of dung beetle behaviour is that once they have formed a piece of dung into a ball, they roll it along a straight path away from the dung pile. This straight-line orientation ensures that the beetles depart along the most direct route, guaranteeing that they will not return to the intense competition (from other beetles) that occurs near the dung pile...