IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/huj/dispap/dp439.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Vertical Orientation and Color Contrast and Choices by Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris L.)

Author

Listed:
  • Rachel Arnon
  • Tamar Keasar

    ()

  • Dan Cohen
  • Avi Shmida

Abstract

The vertical inflorescences of several plant species are terminated by colorful bracts, which attract insect pollinators. The bracts contrast in color with the leaves below them, and are oriented perpendicular to the flowers on the inflorescence. We conducted laboratory experiments to determine the effects of color contrast and perpendicular orientation on the feeding choices of bumblebees. We first trained bees to feeders with color-contrasting perpendicular displays, composed of a horizontal and a vertical display component. We subsequently recorded the bees' choices among feeders that displayed only one of these cues. The bees preferred perpendicular displays that resembled the training model in the color of the horizontal component. None of them chose a color-contrasting display that was not perpendicular. We then evaluated the effects of the horizontal vs. vertical components of perpendicular displays on the bees' choices. After training bees to color-contrasting perpendicular displays, we allowed them to choose between displays that had either the same horizontal or the same vertical component as the training model. Foragers mostly oriented to the horizontal displays to which they had been trained. Our results suggest that (a) bumblebees can learn to associate three-dimensional perpendicular color-contrasting displays with food rewards; (b) these displays are processed hierarchically, with orientation dominating color contrast; (c) The horizontal component of perpendicular displays dominates the vertical component. We discuss possible implications of our findings for the evolution of flower signals based on extra-floral bracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Arnon & Tamar Keasar & Dan Cohen & Avi Shmida, 2006. "Vertical Orientation and Color Contrast and Choices by Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris L.)," Discussion Paper Series dp439, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp439
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/dp439.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tamar Keasar & Gad Pollak & Rachel Arnon & Dan Cohen & Avi Shmida, 2006. "Honesty of Signaling and Pollinator Attraction: The Case of Flag-Like Bracts," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000599, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Tamar Keasar & Gad Pollak & Rachel Arnon & Dan Cohen & Avi Shmida, 2006. "Honesty of Signaling and Pollinator Attraction: The Case of Flag-Like Bracts," Discussion Paper Series dp438, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bee; Learning; Color Contrast; Perpendicular Orientation; Extra-Floral Display;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp439. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael Simkin). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/crihuil.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.