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Behavioral analysis of light intensity discrimination and spectral sensitivity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

Labhart, Thomas (1974) Behavioral analysis of light intensity discrimination and spectral sensitivity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 95 (3). pp. 203-216. ISSN 0340-7594. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20201020-082018138

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Abstract

1. The spontaneous choice behavior of bees between two lights—a reference light of constant intensity (I_c) and a test light of variable intensity (I_v)—was tested by means of a binary choice apparatus. 2. The intensity discrimination threshold for white light was determined in an intensity range of five powers of ten. Defining 65% choice frequency as reaction threshold, an intensity difference of 14.5% is perceived at the highest intensity tested (I_c = 3.6 W/m² = relative intensity 1). This difference increases only slightly, to 18.7%, with a decrease in relative intensity to 10⁻³, but at a relative intensity of 10⁻⁴ it increases to 57.2% (Fig. 3). 3. According to these findings the least potential difference noted at receptor niveau is about 1 mV as can be determined by means of the intensity characteristic of the photoreceptors (Fig. 8). 4. The intensity discrimination sensitivity in ultraviolet, blue, and green monochromatic light was determined. No significant differences were found (Fig. 4). 5. An action spectrum, i.e., the spectral sensitivity function of the spontaneous phototactic choice behavior was determined by measuring the intensities of different monochromatic lights which are equally attractive as the constant reference light (I_c). It has maxima in the ultraviolet (350–360 nm) and in the green range (530–540 nm; Fig. 5). The relative amplitude of the maxima depends on the intensity of the reference light: The green sensitivity decreases when the intensity of the reference light is increased (Fig. 7, insert).


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00625444DOIArticle
Additional Information:© 1974 Springer. Received 02 July 1974. Shortened text of thesis performed under the leadership of Prof. Dr. R. Wehner, presented to the Philosophische Fakultät II of the University of Zürich. I thank Drs. C. A. G. Wiersma and T. H. Goldsmith for reading the manuscript. Financially supported by grant no. 3.315.70 of the Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique awarded to Prof. Dr. R. Wehner.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique3.315.70
Subject Keywords:Relative Intensity; Apis Mellifera; Spectral Sensitivity; Choice Behavior; Sensitivity Function
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201020-082018138
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20201020-082018138
Official Citation:Labhart, T. Behavioral analysis of light intensity discrimination and spectral sensitivity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera . J. Comp. Physiol. 95, 203–216 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00625444
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106164
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Oct 2020 19:05
Last Modified:20 Oct 2020 19:05

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