Visual constraints in foraging bumblebees: Flower size and color affect search time and flight behavior

  title={Visual constraints in foraging bumblebees: Flower size and color affect search time and flight behavior},
  author={Johannes Spaethe and J{\"u}rgen Tautz and Lars Chittka},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  pages={3898 - 3903}
  • J. Spaethe, J. Tautz, L. Chittka
  • Published 20 March 2001
  • Biology
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
In optimal foraging theory, search time is a key variable defining the value of a prey type. But the sensory-perceptual processes that constrain the search for food have rarely been considered. Here we evaluate the flight behavior of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) searching for artificial flowers of various sizes and colors. When flowers were large, search times correlated well with the color contrast of the targets with their green foliage-type background, as predicted by a model of color… 

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