Publication details

Magnetoreception of Periplaneta americana under different light conditions



Year of publication 2011
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description The question whether animals' ability to perceive geomagnetic field is light-dependent or not has been addressed since the beginning of the research of magnetoreception. The role of light is essential in the problem of still enigmatic mechanism of reception. In this study, we tested the magnetoreception of American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) under seven different light conditions. We used different wavelengths and intensities of light. We found that the reaction to magnetic pulses rotating geomagnetic North was significant under the white broad-spectrum light (0,68 Wm-2), as well as monochromatic UV light (365nm; 0,05 Wm-2) and UV light (403nm, 0,009 Wm-2). When UV light of lower intensity (403nm; 0,0007 Wm-2) was applied, it neared the limit of significance. The reaction vanished in darkness as well as under blue (467nm; 0,062 Wm-2) and green (520 nm; 0,039 Wm-2) lights. These preliminary results show that mechanism of magnetoreception is dependent both on wavelength of light and the light intensity. Magnetic sense seems to be functional only when short-wavelength part of the spectrum is present. This study, as the first on insects, specifies the threshold of light intensity necessary for magnetoreception reaction. The results support the light-dependent reception mechanism in insects.
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