Dorsal visual cues in German wasp navigation
Abstract: The German wasp Vespula germanica is found in the Palaeartic region of the globe. Outside this area, it is highly invasive species. It has an omnivorous diet and is able to hunt other insects and scavenge for food from both natural and anthropogenic sources. It has been previously shown that this species has efficient and specialized foraging strategies depending on the resource. It is capable of navigating successfully through closed habitats, has a large landmark learning capacity as well as flexible responses to changing environmental variables. They are also able to recognize a shape irrespective of color and contrast with the background. Our study shows that this species is able to detect patterns and their orientation in the dorsal field, ability that is lacking in honeybees. Furthermore, our data suggests that each forager is able to remember landmarks associated with not only the current, but also the previous resource location, something that has already been proved in previous studies.
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