A right antenna for social behaviour in honeybees

Rogers, Lesley J. and Rigosi, Elisa and Frasnelli, Elisa and Vallortigara, Giorgio (2013) A right antenna for social behaviour in honeybees. Scientific Reports, 3 (1). p. 2045. ISSN 2045-2322

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.1038/srep02045

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Abstract

Sophisticated cognitive abilities have been documented in honeybees, possibly an aspect of their complex
sociality. In vertebrates brain asymmetry enhances cognition and directional biases of brain function are a
putative adaptation to social behaviour. Here we show that honeybees display a strong lateral preference to
use their right antenna in social interactions. Dyads of bees tested using only their right antennae (RA)
contacted after shorter latency and were significantly more likely to interact positively (proboscis extension)
than were dyads of bees using only their left antennae (LA). The latter were more likely to interact negatively
(C-responses) even though they were from the same hive. In dyads from different hives C-responses were
higher in RA than LA dyads. Hence, RA controls social behaviour appropriate to context. Therefore, in
invertebrates, as well as vertebrates, lateral biases in behaviour appear to be associated with requirements of
social life.

Keywords:social behaviour, lateralization, behavioural asymmetry, bee, antenna
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C340 Entomology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:30130
Deposited On:19 Feb 2018 10:44

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