University of Padua

Caterpillar polarisation vision: Histological methods and Rcodes for behavioural analyses

Uemura, Mizuki and Meglič, Andrej and Zalucki, Myron and Battisti, Andrea and Belušič, Gregor (2021) Caterpillar polarisation vision: Histological methods and Rcodes for behavioural analyses. [Data Collection]

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Processionary caterpillars of Thaumetopoea pityocampa (in Europe) and Ochrogaster lunifer (in Australia) (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae) form single files of larvae crawling head-to-tail when moving to feeding and pupation sites. We investigated if the processions are guided by polarisation vision. The heading orientation of processions could be manipulated with linear polarising filters held above the leading caterpillar. Exposure to changes in the angle of polarisation around the caterpillar resulted in orthogonal changes in heading angles. Anatomical analysis indicated specialisations for polarisation vision of stemma I in both species. Stemma I has a rhabdom with orthogonal and aligned microvilli, and an opaque and rugged surface; which are optimisations for skylight polarisation vision, similar to the dorsal rim of adult insects. Stemmata II-VI have a smooth and shiny surface and lobed rhabdoms with non-orthogonal and non-aligned microvilli; thus, optimised for general vision with minimal polarisation sensitivity. Behavioural and anatomical evidence reveal that polarised light cues are important for larval orientation and can be robustly detected with a simple visual system.

DOI: 10.5061/dryad.9w0vt4bdh
Keywords: FOS: Biological sciences, FOS: Biological sciences
Subjects: Life Sciences > Cellular and Developmental Biology: Cell biology, cell physiology, signal transduction, organogenesis, developmental genetics, pattern formation, stem cell biology, in plants and animals and where appropriate in microorganisms > Cytoskeleton and cell behaviour (e.g. control of cell shape, cell migration and cellular mechanosensing)
Life Sciences > Neuroscience and Neural Disorders: Neural cell function and signalling, systems neuroscience, neural bases of cognitive and behavioural processes, neurological and psychiatric disorders > Neural bases of behaviour (e.g. sleep, consciousness, addiction)
Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology: Population, community and ecosystem ecology, evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, microbial ecology > Behavioural ecology and evolution
Department: Departments > Dipartimento di Agronomia Animali Alimenti Risorse Naturali e Ambiente (DAFNAE)
Depositing User: Research Data Unipd
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2023 15:12
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2023 15:16
Type of data: Text
Research funder: European Union Horizon 2020 Program for Research and Innovation ‘HOMED’, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, The Slovenian research agency ARRS Javna Agencija za Raziskovalno Dejavnost RS*, ‘ondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo PhD programme 2018
Research project title: EU Horizon 2020 HOMED
Grant number: 771271
Collection period:
Resource language: en
Metadata language: en
Additional information: Usage notes For further details on Morphological analyses and Statistical analyses, download the Dryad datasets.
Publisher: Dryad
Status: Published
Original publication URL:
Related publications:
Date: 8 February 2021
Date type: Publication
Copyright holders: The Authors

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