Polarized Light Helps Monarch Butterflies Navigate

  title={Polarized Light Helps Monarch Butterflies Navigate},
  author={S. Reppert and Haisun Zhu and R. H. White},
  journal={Current Biology},
  • S. Reppert, Haisun Zhu, R. H. White
  • Published 2004
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Current Biology
  • During their spectacular migratory journey in the fall, North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) use a time-compensated sun compass to help them navigate to their overwintering sites in central Mexico. One feature of the sun compass mechanism not fully explored in monarchs is the sunlight-dependent parameters used to navigate. We now provide data suggesting that the angle of polarized skylight (the e-vector) is a relevant orientation parameter. By placing butterflies in a flight… CONTINUE READING
    117 Citations

    Figures and Topics from this paper

    Explore Further: Topics Discussed in This Paper

    Do monarch butterflies use polarized skylight for migratory orientation?
    • 59
    • Highly Influenced
    • PDF
    Sun Compass Integration of Skylight Cues in Migratory Monarch Butterflies
    • 163
    • PDF
    Connecting the Navigational Clock to Sun Compass Input in Monarch Butterfly Brain
    • 138
    • PDF
    Spatial orientation based on multiple visual cues in monarch butterflies
    • 1
    • PDF
    Navigational mechanisms of migrating monarch butterflies
    • 124
    • PDF
    Spatial orientation based on multiple visual cues in non-migratory monarch butterflies
    • 2
    Demystifying Monarch Butterfly Migration
    • 21


    Virtual migration in tethered flying monarch butterflies reveals their orientation mechanisms
    • H. Mouritsen, B. Frost
    • Biology, Medicine
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    • 2002
    • 144
    • Highly Influential
    • PDF
    Polarization vision--a uniform sensory capacity?
    • R. Wehner
    • Medicine
    • The Journal of experimental biology
    • 2001
    • 206
    • PDF
    Polarization sensitivity
    • 94
    Sensory bases of navigation
    • J. Gould
    • Biology, Medicine
    • Current Biology
    • 1998
    • 62