No evidence for behavioral responses to circularly polarized light in four scarab beetle species with circularly polarizing exocuticle

Miklós Blahó, Ádám Egri, Ramón Hegedüs, Júlia Jósvai, M. Tóth, K. Kertész, L. Bíró, G. Kriska, Gábor Horváth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The strongest known circular polarization of biotic origin is the left-circularly polarized (LCP) light reflected from the metallic shiny exocuticle of certain beetles of the family Scarabaeidae. This phenomenon has been discovered by Michelson in 1911. Although since 1955 it has been known that the human eye perceives a visual illusion when stimulated by circularly polarized (CP) light, it was discovered only recently that a stomatopod shrimp is able to perceive circular polarization. It is pertinent to suppose that scarab beetles reflecting LCP light in an optical environment (vegetation) being deficient in CP signals may also perceive circular polarization and use it to find each other (mate/conspecifics) as until now it has been believed. We tested this hypothesis in six choice experiments with several hundred individuals of four scarab species: Anomala dubia, Anomala vitis (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Rutelinae), and Cetonia aurata, Potosia cuprea (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae), all possessing left-circularly polarizing exocuticle. From the results of our experiments we conclude that the studied four scarab species are not attracted to CP light when feeding or looking for mate or conspecifics. We demonstrated that the light reflected by host plants of the investigated scarabs is circularly unpolarized. Our results finally solve a puzzle raised over one hundred years ago, when Michaelson discovered that scarab beetles reflect circularly polarized light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1075
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume105
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2012

Fingerprint

Beetles
Light
Vitis
Polarization

Keywords

  • Anomala dubia
  • Anomala vitis
  • Behavioral response
  • Cetonia aurata
  • Cetoniinae
  • Choice experiment
  • Circular polarization
  • Polarization vision
  • Potosia cuprea
  • Rutelinae
  • Scarab beetles
  • Scarabaeidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy

Cite this

No evidence for behavioral responses to circularly polarized light in four scarab beetle species with circularly polarizing exocuticle. / Blahó, Miklós; Egri, Ádám; Hegedüs, Ramón; Jósvai, Júlia; Tóth, M.; Kertész, K.; Bíró, L.; Kriska, G.; Horváth, Gábor.

In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 105, No. 4, 28.02.2012, p. 1067-1075.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e88fdd5ce574434d90e1f8513968b7b4,
title = "No evidence for behavioral responses to circularly polarized light in four scarab beetle species with circularly polarizing exocuticle",
abstract = "The strongest known circular polarization of biotic origin is the left-circularly polarized (LCP) light reflected from the metallic shiny exocuticle of certain beetles of the family Scarabaeidae. This phenomenon has been discovered by Michelson in 1911. Although since 1955 it has been known that the human eye perceives a visual illusion when stimulated by circularly polarized (CP) light, it was discovered only recently that a stomatopod shrimp is able to perceive circular polarization. It is pertinent to suppose that scarab beetles reflecting LCP light in an optical environment (vegetation) being deficient in CP signals may also perceive circular polarization and use it to find each other (mate/conspecifics) as until now it has been believed. We tested this hypothesis in six choice experiments with several hundred individuals of four scarab species: Anomala dubia, Anomala vitis (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Rutelinae), and Cetonia aurata, Potosia cuprea (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae), all possessing left-circularly polarizing exocuticle. From the results of our experiments we conclude that the studied four scarab species are not attracted to CP light when feeding or looking for mate or conspecifics. We demonstrated that the light reflected by host plants of the investigated scarabs is circularly unpolarized. Our results finally solve a puzzle raised over one hundred years ago, when Michaelson discovered that scarab beetles reflect circularly polarized light.",
keywords = "Anomala dubia, Anomala vitis, Behavioral response, Cetonia aurata, Cetoniinae, Choice experiment, Circular polarization, Polarization vision, Potosia cuprea, Rutelinae, Scarab beetles, Scarabaeidae",
author = "Mikl{\'o}s Blah{\'o} and {\'A}d{\'a}m Egri and Ram{\'o}n Heged{\"u}s and J{\'u}lia J{\'o}svai and M. T{\'o}th and K. Kert{\'e}sz and L. B{\'i}r{\'o} and G. Kriska and G{\'a}bor Horv{\'a}th",
year = "2012",
month = "2",
day = "28",
doi = "10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.11.020",
language = "English",
volume = "105",
pages = "1067--1075",
journal = "Physiology and Behavior",
issn = "0031-9384",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - No evidence for behavioral responses to circularly polarized light in four scarab beetle species with circularly polarizing exocuticle

AU - Blahó, Miklós

AU - Egri, Ádám

AU - Hegedüs, Ramón

AU - Jósvai, Júlia

AU - Tóth, M.

AU - Kertész, K.

AU - Bíró, L.

AU - Kriska, G.

AU - Horváth, Gábor

PY - 2012/2/28

Y1 - 2012/2/28

N2 - The strongest known circular polarization of biotic origin is the left-circularly polarized (LCP) light reflected from the metallic shiny exocuticle of certain beetles of the family Scarabaeidae. This phenomenon has been discovered by Michelson in 1911. Although since 1955 it has been known that the human eye perceives a visual illusion when stimulated by circularly polarized (CP) light, it was discovered only recently that a stomatopod shrimp is able to perceive circular polarization. It is pertinent to suppose that scarab beetles reflecting LCP light in an optical environment (vegetation) being deficient in CP signals may also perceive circular polarization and use it to find each other (mate/conspecifics) as until now it has been believed. We tested this hypothesis in six choice experiments with several hundred individuals of four scarab species: Anomala dubia, Anomala vitis (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Rutelinae), and Cetonia aurata, Potosia cuprea (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae), all possessing left-circularly polarizing exocuticle. From the results of our experiments we conclude that the studied four scarab species are not attracted to CP light when feeding or looking for mate or conspecifics. We demonstrated that the light reflected by host plants of the investigated scarabs is circularly unpolarized. Our results finally solve a puzzle raised over one hundred years ago, when Michaelson discovered that scarab beetles reflect circularly polarized light.

AB - The strongest known circular polarization of biotic origin is the left-circularly polarized (LCP) light reflected from the metallic shiny exocuticle of certain beetles of the family Scarabaeidae. This phenomenon has been discovered by Michelson in 1911. Although since 1955 it has been known that the human eye perceives a visual illusion when stimulated by circularly polarized (CP) light, it was discovered only recently that a stomatopod shrimp is able to perceive circular polarization. It is pertinent to suppose that scarab beetles reflecting LCP light in an optical environment (vegetation) being deficient in CP signals may also perceive circular polarization and use it to find each other (mate/conspecifics) as until now it has been believed. We tested this hypothesis in six choice experiments with several hundred individuals of four scarab species: Anomala dubia, Anomala vitis (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Rutelinae), and Cetonia aurata, Potosia cuprea (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae), all possessing left-circularly polarizing exocuticle. From the results of our experiments we conclude that the studied four scarab species are not attracted to CP light when feeding or looking for mate or conspecifics. We demonstrated that the light reflected by host plants of the investigated scarabs is circularly unpolarized. Our results finally solve a puzzle raised over one hundred years ago, when Michaelson discovered that scarab beetles reflect circularly polarized light.

KW - Anomala dubia

KW - Anomala vitis

KW - Behavioral response

KW - Cetonia aurata

KW - Cetoniinae

KW - Choice experiment

KW - Circular polarization

KW - Polarization vision

KW - Potosia cuprea

KW - Rutelinae

KW - Scarab beetles

KW - Scarabaeidae

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84055224140&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84055224140&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.11.020

DO - 10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.11.020

M3 - Article

C2 - 22155007

AN - SCOPUS:84055224140

VL - 105

SP - 1067

EP - 1075

JO - Physiology and Behavior

JF - Physiology and Behavior

SN - 0031-9384

IS - 4

ER -