Three spectrally distinct photoreceptors in diurnal and nocturnal Australian ants

Yuri Ogawa, Marcin Falkowski, A. Narendra, J. Zeil, Jan Hemmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Ants are thought to be special among Hymenopterans in having only dichromatic colour vision based on two spectrally distinct photoreceptors. Many ants are highly visual animals, however, and use vision extensively for navigation. We show here that two congeneric day- and night-active Australian ants have three spectrally distinct photoreceptor types, potentially supporting trichromatic colour vision. Electroretinogram recordings show the presence of three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 450 and 550 nm in the night-active Myrmecia vindex and peaks at 370, 470 and 510 nm in the day-active Myrmecia croslandi. Intracellular electrophysiology on individual photoreceptors confirmed that the night-active M. vindex has three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 430 and 550 nm. A large number of the intracellular recordings in the night-active M. vindex show unusually broad-band spectral sensitivities, suggesting that photoreceptors may be coupled. Spectral measurements at different temporal frequencies revealed that the ultraviolet receptors are comparatively slow.We discuss the adaptive significance and the probability of trichromacy in Myrmecia ants in the context of dim light vision and visual navigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume282
Issue number1808
Early online date20 May 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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Nothomyrmecia macrops
Color vision
Ants
photoreceptors
ant
Navigation
Myrmecia (Hymenoptera)
Electrophysiology
Color Vision
color vision
Formicidae
Myrmecia croslandi
navigation
Animals
electroretinography
electrophysiology
Hymenoptera
receptors
animal
animals

Cite this

Ogawa, Yuri ; Falkowski, Marcin ; Narendra, A. ; Zeil, J. ; Hemmi, Jan. / Three spectrally distinct photoreceptors in diurnal and nocturnal Australian ants. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2015 ; Vol. 282, No. 1808. pp. 1-7.
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Three spectrally distinct photoreceptors in diurnal and nocturnal Australian ants. / Ogawa, Yuri; Falkowski, Marcin; Narendra, A.; Zeil, J.; Hemmi, Jan.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 282, No. 1808, 06.2015, p. 1-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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