<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

As expected, honeybees use olfactory signals in selecting which flowers they wish to pollinate (Heiling et al. 2004). Crab spiders can also use scent in their hunting site decision. This was found in a study performed by Astrid M. Heiling et al. in 2004, where honeybees and crab spiders were presented the choice between two flowers in the presence and absence of olfactory cues. In their presence, crab spiders and honeybees selected the same flower for hunting and foraging, respectively, 75% of the time (n=60), however in the absence of the cues, the selection of the same flower boiled down to little more than chance.

Of course, flower selection for both species is not as easy as a quick sniff. Both also use visual cues. For example, foraging honeybees have been found to prefer flowers with radial symmetry over bilateral symmetry , examples of both seen in the insert to the left, in tests where olfactory signals were removed (Wignall et al. 2005). Some visual signals are harder to detect. In particular, visual signals communicated at ultraviolet wavelengths are difficult to study as they are invisible to the human eye, but are the likely culprit for much of the manipulation of floral signals used by crab spiders to attract honeybees. It has been shown that honeybees are more likely to approach flowers occupied by crab spiders than those without (Heiling et al. 2003), although native Australian bees are less likely than introduced European bees to actually land on occupied flowers (Heiling and Herberstein, 2004).

In a spectral study conducted by Heiling et al. in 2003, it was shown that crab spiders sitting on white daisies have high UV contrast, thus making the signaling strategy of the Australian crab spider quite different than those who lurk in tree bark or blend into the background. In fact, this makes them particularly conspicuous in the insect visual spectrum when seen at close quarters. So why are honeybees attracted to these risky flowers? The findings of the study are consistent with empirical data that show that bees innately prefer flowers with strongly contrasting markings. Thus a contrasted spider, even with the known danger, makes a flower incredibly enticing.

Bilateral Symmetry Photo Credits: Denis Barthel and SiGarb
Bilateral Symmetry Photo Credits: Denis Barthel and SiGarb

Playing the game: australian crab spiders alter their behavior to attract prey

What do honeybees see?

Imagine you’re a honeybee, flying around, looking for a delicious flower to pollinate. What would you see? This intriguing question is in the process of being answered by some of the world’s top ecologists, physiologists, and evolutionary biologists.

Honeybees are UV-blue-green trichromats, a combination so popular that it must have appeared early in the evolution of insects. UV vision is the most common wavelengths detected by insects; in fact, not a single species of insects has a confirmed absence of UV vision.

Honeybees are capable of viewing their world at high sensitivity and enhance contrast, a capability that comes in handy in UV-rich environments where they often live such as meadows.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11211/1.5
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior' conversation and receive update notifications?