Ventral polarization vision in tabanids: horseflies and deerflies (Diptera: Tabanidae) are attracted to horizontally polarized light

  title={Ventral polarization vision in tabanids: horseflies and deerflies (Diptera: Tabanidae) are attracted to horizontally polarized light},
  author={G{\'a}bor Horv{\'a}th and J{\'o}zsef Majer and Lor{\'a}nd Horv{\'a}th and Ildik{\'o} Sziv{\'a}k and Gy{\"o}rgy Kriska},
Adult tabanid flies (horseflies and deerflies) are terrestrial and lay their eggs onto marsh plants near bodies of fresh water because the larvae develop in water or mud. To know how tabanids locate their host animals, terrestrial rendezvous sites and egg-laying places would be very useful for control measures against them, because the hematophagous females are primary/secondary vectors of some severe animal/human diseases/parasites. Thus, in choice experiments performed in the field we studied… 

Polarization sensitivity in Collembola: an experimental study of polarotaxis in the water-surface-inhabiting springtail Podura aquatica

In behavioural choice experiments, the water springtail Podura aquatica shows polarotaxis to horizontally polarized light as well as phototaxis, and the results indicate that the threshold d* of polarization sensitivity in P. aquatica is between 10.1 and 25.5%.

Spottier Targets Are Less Attractive to Tabanid Flies: On the Tabanid-Repellency of Spotty Fur Patterns

It is demonstrated that the attractiveness of spotty patterns to tabanids is also reduced if the target exhibits spottiness only in the angle of polarization pattern, while being homogeneous grey with a constant high degree of polarization.

Linearly Polarized Light as a Guiding Cue for Water Detection and Host Finding in Tabanid Flies

It is shown that tabanid flies are attracted to horizontally polarized light stimulating their ventral eye region, and it is demonstrated that the use of a striped fur pattern has the advantage that such coat patterns attract far fewer tabanids than either homogeneous black, brown, grey or white equivalents.

Why do horseflies need polarization vision for host detection? Polarization helps tabanid flies to select sunlit dark host animals from the dark patches of the visual environment

It is shown that the use of polarization information considerably increases the effectiveness of visual detection of dark host animals even in front of sunny–shady–patchy vegetation and the chances of successful host selection based on either intensity or degree of polarization of the target and the combination of these two parameters.

Horsefly object-directed polarotaxis is mediated by a stochastically distributed ommatidial subtype in the ventral retina

It is reported that horsefly retina contains 2 ommatidial subtypes that separately analyze polarization of light and color, and how stochastically distributed sensory units with modality-specific division of labor serve as separate and opposing input channels for visual guidance is revealed.



Visual ecology of biting flies.

There appears to be a convergence of morphology and behavior that is related to ecology rather than to phylogenetic relationships, and species that are active at the same time of day and in the same habitat have more in common than closely related species in different habitats.

Positive polarotaxis in a mayfly that never leaves the water surface: polarotactic water detection in Palingenia longicauda (Ephemeroptera)

It is shown here that also P. longicauda has positive polarotaxis, which, however, can be observed only under unnatural conditions, when the animals are displaced from the water and then released above artificial test surfaces.

Polarization vision in water insects and insects living on a moist substrate

  • R. Schwind
  • Biology
    Journal of Comparative Physiology A
  • 2004
Light polarized by reflection was tested in the field for its attractiveness to flying insects, and three response groups emerge: one is attracted whenever the degree of polarization is high in the UV-range, another is attracted only by the reflecting surface over a dark background, and the third ranges in between.

Dragonflies Recognize the Water of Rendezvous and Oviposition Sites by Horizontally Polarized Light: A Behavioural Field Test

A comparison of the polarization pattern of freshwater habitats recorded by video polarimetry in red, green and blue spectral ranges and its relevance for water detection by aquatic insects and the sensitivities of dragonfly photoreceptors is presented.

Ultrastructure of the Tabanidae compound eye: Unusual features for Diptera

Glass buildings on river banks as “polarized light traps” for mass-swarming polarotactic caddis flies

It is proposed that after its emergence from the river, H. pellucidula is attracted to buildings by their dark silhouettes and the glass-reflected, horizontally polarized light after sunset, and this attraction may be strengthened by positive phototaxis elicited by the buildings’ lights.

Spectral regions in which aquatic insects see reflected polarized light

  • R. Schwind
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of Comparative Physiology A
  • 2004
For diverse water insects (species of Hydrophilidae, Hadraenidae, Dytiscidae, Haliplidae and aquatic Heteroptera), the attractiveness of an artificial water surface was found to vary when the polarization of the reflected light was abolished in different regions of the spectrum.

Why do mayflies lay their eggs en masse on dry asphalt roads? Water-imitating polarized light reflected from asphalt attracts Ephemeroptera.

It is shown here that Ephemeroptera can be deceived by and attracted to dry asphalt roads because of the strongly horizontally polarized light reflected from the surface, and that mayflies detect water by means of polarotaxis.

The development of a multipurpose trap (the Nzi) for tsetse and other biting flies

  • S. Mihok
  • Environmental Science
    Bulletin of Entomological Research
  • 2002
The objective of developing a simple, economical trap with harmonized efficiency was achieved, and the ‘Nzi’ trap (Swahili for fly) caught as many or significantly more tsetse and biting flies than any conventional trap.

The Biology of Blood-Sucking in Insects 2nd Edn. By M. Lehane, pp. 321. Cambridge University Press, 2005. ISBN 0 521 54395 9. Paperback £35.00 (US$ 60.00).

This new edition of Mike Lehane's book provides perhaps the most comprehensive, and a very readable, teaching text for medical entomology available today.