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Spatial vision in band-winged grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae)

by Duncan, Alexander

Abstract

Visual acuity, the ability to resolve fine spatial details, can vary dramatically between and within insect species. Body-size, sex, behavior, and ecological niche are all factors that may influence an insect’s acuity. Band-winged grasshoppers (Oedipodinae) are a subfamily of grasshoppers characterized by their colorfully patterned hindwings. Although researchers have anecdotally suggested that this color pattern may attract mates, few studies have examined the visual acuity of these animals, and none have examined its implications on intraspecific signaling. Here, we compare the visual acuity of three bandwing species: Dissosteira carolina, Arphia pseudonietana, and Spharagemon equale. To measure acuity in these species we used a modified radius of curvature estimation (RCE) technique. Visual acuity was significantly coarser 1) in males compared to females, 2) parallel to the horizon compared to the perpendicular, and 3) in S. equale compared to other bandwings. Unlike many insect families, body size within a species did not correlate with visual acuity. To examine the functional implications of these results, we modeled the appearance of different bandwing patterns to conspecifics. These results suggest that hind- wing patterning could only be used as a signal to conspecifics at short distances (<50cm). This study furthers the exploration of behavior and the evolution of visual systems in bandwings.

Note

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Colorado College Tutt Library
PID
coccc:27535
Digital Origin
born digital
Extent
34 pages : illustrations
Thesis
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Nicholas Brandley
Department/Program
Organismal Biology and Ecology
Degree Name
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Type
bachelor
Degree Grantor
Colorado College Tutt Library
Date Issued
2017-05