Visual field structure in the Empress Leilia, Asterocampa leilia (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae): Dimensions and regional variation in acuity

Ronald L. Rutowski, Eric J. Warrant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Male Empress Leilia butterflies (Asterocampa leilia) use a sit-and-wait tactic to locate mates. To see how vision might influence male behavior, we studied the morphology, optics, and receptor physiology of their eyes and found the following. (1) Each eye's visual field is approximately hemispherical with at most a 10° overlap in the fields of the eyes. There are no large sexual differences in visual field dimensions. (2) In both sexes, rhabdoms in the frontal and dorsal ommatidia are longer than those in other eye regions. (3) Interommatidial angles are smallest frontally and around the equator of the eye. Minimum interommatidial angles are 0.9-1° in males and 1.3-1.4° in females. (4) Acceptance angles of ommatidia closely match interommatidial angles in the frontal region of the eye. We conclude that vision in these butterflies is mostly monocular and that males have more acute vision than females, especially in the frontal region (large facets, small interommatidial angles, small acceptance angles, long rhabdoms, and a close match between interommatidial angles and acceptance angles). This study also suggests that perched males direct their most acute vision where females are likely to appear but show no eye modifications that appear clearly related to a mate-locating tactic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volume188
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2002

Keywords

  • Acute zone
  • Asterocampa leilia (Nymphalidae)
  • Butterfly vision
  • Eye morphology
  • Visual field structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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