Understanding innate preferences of wild bee species: responses to wavelength-dependent selective excitation of blue and green photoreceptor types

Oksana Ostroverkhova, Gracie Galindo, Claire Lande, Julie Kirby, Melissa Scherr, George Hoffman, Sujaya Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bees have a trichromatic vision with ultraviolet, blue, and green photoreceptors in their compound eyes. While the three photoreceptor types comprise the ‘color space’ at the perceptual level, preferential excitation of one or two of the photoreceptor types has been shown to play an important role in innate color preferences of bumble bees. Bees have been shown to exhibit strong attraction to fluorescence emission exclusively in the blue spectral region. It is not known if emission exclusively in the green spectral region produces similar attraction. Here, we examined responses of wild bees to traps designed to selectively stimulate either the blue or the green photoreceptor using sunlight-induced fluorescence in the 420–480 or 510–540 nm region, respectively. Additionally, we probed how subtle changes in the spectral characteristics of the traps affect the bee captures once a highly selective excitation of the blue photoreceptor is achieved. It was established that selective excitation of the green photoreceptor type was not attractive, in contrast to that of the blue photoreceptor type. However, once a highly selective excitation of the blue photoreceptor type (at ~ 400–480 nm) was achieved, the wild bees favored strong excitation at 430–480 nm over that in the 400–420 nm region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-675
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volume204
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
on their farms. Funding from Agricultural Research Foundation and Oregon State University is acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Bee vision
  • Fluorescence
  • Innate behavior
  • Selective receptor excitation
  • Wild bees

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