Ball rolling dung beetles use a wide range of cues to steer themselves along a fixed bearing, including the spectral gradient of scattered skylight that spans the sky. Here, we define the spectral sensitivity of the diurnal dung beetle Kheper lamarcki and use the information to explore the orientation performance under a range of spectral light combinations. We find that, when presented with spectrally diverse stimuli, the beetles primarily orient to the apparent brightness differences as perceived by their green photoreceptors. Under certain wavelength combinations, they also rely on spectral information to guide their movements, but the brightness and spectral directional information is never fully disentangled. Overall, our results suggest the use of a dichromatic, primitive colour vision system for the extraction of directional information from the celestial spectral gradient to support straight-line orientation. This article is part of the theme issue 'Understanding colour vision: molecular, physiological, neuronal and behavioural studies in arthropods'.
|Tidskrift||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|Status||Published - 2022 okt. 24|