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Visual approach computation in feeding hoverflies
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Physiology. (Motion Vision)
Univ Cambridge, Dept Physiol Dev & Neurosci, Cambridge, England.
Univ Cambridge, Dept Physiol Dev & Neurosci, Cambridge, England.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Physiology. (Motion Vision)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6020-6348
2018 (English)In: Journal of Experimental Biology, ISSN 0022-0949, E-ISSN 1477-9145, Vol. 221, no 10, article id jeb.177162Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

On warm sunny days, female hoverflies are often observed feeding from a wide range of wild and cultivated flowers. In doing so, hoverflies serve a vital role as alternative pollinators, and are suggested to be the most important pollinators after bees and bumblebees. Unless the flower hoverflies are feeding from is large, they do not readily share the space with other insects, but instead opt to leave if another insect approaches. We used high-speed videography followed by 3D reconstruction of flight trajectories to quantify how female Eristalis hoverflies respond to approaching bees, wasps and two different hoverfly species. We found that, in 94% of the interactions, the occupant female left the flower when approached by another insect. We found that compared with spontaneous take-offs, the occupant hoverfly's escape response was performed at similar to 3 times higher speed (spontaneous take-off at 0.20.05 m s(-1) compared with 0.55 +/- 0.08 m s(-1) when approached by another Eristalis). The hoverflies tended to take off upward and forward, while taking the incomer's approach angle into account. Intriguingly, we found that, when approached by wasps, the occupant Eristalis took off at a higher speed and when the wasp was further away. This suggests that feeding hoverflies may be able to distinguish these predators, demanding impressive visual capabilities. Our results, including quantification of the visual information available before occupant take-off, provide important insight into how freely behaving hoverflies perform escape responses from competitors and predators (e.g. wasps) in the wild.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 221, no 10, article id jeb.177162
Keywords [en]
Approach, Foraging behavior, Looming stimuli, Motion vision, Retinal size, Target detection
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-351233DOI: 10.1242/jeb.177162ISI: 000438913100016PubMedID: 29720383OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-351233DiVA, id: diva2:1209129
Available from: 2018-05-22 Created: 2018-05-22 Last updated: 2018-09-27Bibliographically approved

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Thyselius, MalinNordström, Karin

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