Visuo-motor biases in buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

Frasnelli, Elisa and Waite, Lydia (2019) Visuo-motor biases in buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). [Dataset]

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Visuo-motor biases in buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)
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Abstract

Bees provide a good model to investigate the evolution of lateralisation. So far, most studies focused on olfactory learning and recall of olfactory memories in tethered bees. This study investigated possible behavioural biases in free-flying buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) by analysing their turning decisions in a T-maze. Bees of various size were trained to associate a syrup reward with a blue target placed at the centre of the T-maze. The bees were then tested over 16 trials by presenting them with blue targets at the end of the maze’s arms. The maze was rotated 180 after the first 8 trials to control for the effect of environmental factors. The number of turnings to the left and right arms were analysed. The bees sampled exhibited a population-level rightward turning bias. The width of the bee’s thorax was also measured to identify a possible relationship between size and the bias. A positive, although not significant, correlation was identified, suggesting that large bees may be more strongly lateralised. This study shows that bees present lateralisation in a visuo-motor task that mimic their foraging behaviour, indicating a possible specialisation of the right side of the nervous system in routine tasks.

Keywords:Lateralisation, T-maze, bee, behavioural bias, side-turning
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:41707
Deposited On:07 Sep 2020 08:37

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