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Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) mob wasps away from the nest by directed visual patterns.

Kastberger G, Weihmann F, Zierler M, Hötzl T - Naturwissenschaften (2014)

Bottom Line: In particular, the concerted action of shimmering behaviour is known to effectively confuse and repel predators.The findings give evidence that shimmering honeybees utilize directional alignment to enforce their repelling power against preying wasps.This phenomenon can be identified as predator driving which is generally associated with mobbing behaviour (particularly known in selfish herds of vertebrate species), which is, until now, not reported in insects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, University Graz, Graz, Austria, gerald.kastberger@uni-graz.at.

ABSTRACT
The open nesting behaviour of giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) accounts for the evolution of a series of defence strategies to protect the colonies from predation. In particular, the concerted action of shimmering behaviour is known to effectively confuse and repel predators. In shimmering, bees on the nest surface flip their abdomens in a highly coordinated manner to generate Mexican wave-like patterns. The paper documents a further-going capacity of this kind of collective defence: the visual patterns of shimmering waves align regarding their directional characteristics with the projected flight manoeuvres of the wasps when preying in front of the bees' nest. The honeybees take here advantage of a threefold asymmetry intrinsic to the prey-predator interaction: (a) the visual patterns of shimmering turn faster than the wasps on their flight path, (b) they "follow" the wasps more persistently (up to 100 ms) than the wasps "follow" the shimmering patterns (up to 40 ms) and (c) the shimmering patterns align with the wasps' flight in all directions at the same strength, whereas the wasps have some preference for horizontal correspondence. The findings give evidence that shimmering honeybees utilize directional alignment to enforce their repelling power against preying wasps. This phenomenon can be identified as predator driving which is generally associated with mobbing behaviour (particularly known in selfish herds of vertebrate species), which is, until now, not reported in insects.

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Asymmetry of ipsi-directional dominance (Did) between wasp and shimmering (w → sh, sh → w). a Session-specific differences in ipsi-directional dominance with the session-specific synchrony conditions as reference (∆Did = {∆RI-C [│lag│ > 0]–ref D} with ref D = ∆RI-C [lag = 0]; for further information, see Figs. 3–4). Asymmetry between both aspects (brown, w → sh; green, sh → w) is proved at higher lags (│lag│ = 0–1: P = 0.1895; │lag│ = 4-5: P = 0.0153, t test; nss = 50). Circles, means; vertical bars, SEMs. b Significance values (t test) of the differences of Did values (nss = 50) between lagged and synchronous conditions; ordinate P (∆Did) = P {∆RI-C [│lag│ > 0]–ref D}, in both aspects of interactions. Abscissa: lag [w after sh]) scaled in ff and ms (cf. Figs. 3–4)
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Fig5: Asymmetry of ipsi-directional dominance (Did) between wasp and shimmering (w → sh, sh → w). a Session-specific differences in ipsi-directional dominance with the session-specific synchrony conditions as reference (∆Did = {∆RI-C [│lag│ > 0]–ref D} with ref D = ∆RI-C [lag = 0]; for further information, see Figs. 3–4). Asymmetry between both aspects (brown, w → sh; green, sh → w) is proved at higher lags (│lag│ = 0–1: P = 0.1895; │lag│ = 4-5: P = 0.0153, t test; nss = 50). Circles, means; vertical bars, SEMs. b Significance values (t test) of the differences of Did values (nss = 50) between lagged and synchronous conditions; ordinate P (∆Did) = P {∆RI-C [│lag│ > 0]–ref D}, in both aspects of interactions. Abscissa: lag [w after sh]) scaled in ff and ms (cf. Figs. 3–4)

Mentions: We compared the values of Did [│lag│ > 0] with those under synchronous assessment as reference (ref D = Did [lag = 0]), separately for every session (nss = 50) for wasps and shimmering bees. The differences of the Did values between both lag conditions (ΔDid = Did [│lag│ > 0]–ref D) decreased with the absolute lag value (Fig. 5), but, which is important, differently strongly in the two aspects of interaction: for shimmering bees as responders (w → sh), the ΔDid values differed slightly from the reference, whereas for wasps as responders (sh → w) the ΔDid values decreased much stronger with increasing time shifts (Fig. 5a). Consequently, at longer time shifts (│lag│ > 3) shimmering bees as responders had larger ΔDid values (P = 0.0153, t test; Fig. 5a) and their rates P (∆Did) differed more strongly than with wasps as responders.Fig. 5


Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) mob wasps away from the nest by directed visual patterns.

Kastberger G, Weihmann F, Zierler M, Hötzl T - Naturwissenschaften (2014)

Asymmetry of ipsi-directional dominance (Did) between wasp and shimmering (w → sh, sh → w). a Session-specific differences in ipsi-directional dominance with the session-specific synchrony conditions as reference (∆Did = {∆RI-C [│lag│ > 0]–ref D} with ref D = ∆RI-C [lag = 0]; for further information, see Figs. 3–4). Asymmetry between both aspects (brown, w → sh; green, sh → w) is proved at higher lags (│lag│ = 0–1: P = 0.1895; │lag│ = 4-5: P = 0.0153, t test; nss = 50). Circles, means; vertical bars, SEMs. b Significance values (t test) of the differences of Did values (nss = 50) between lagged and synchronous conditions; ordinate P (∆Did) = P {∆RI-C [│lag│ > 0]–ref D}, in both aspects of interactions. Abscissa: lag [w after sh]) scaled in ff and ms (cf. Figs. 3–4)
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Fig5: Asymmetry of ipsi-directional dominance (Did) between wasp and shimmering (w → sh, sh → w). a Session-specific differences in ipsi-directional dominance with the session-specific synchrony conditions as reference (∆Did = {∆RI-C [│lag│ > 0]–ref D} with ref D = ∆RI-C [lag = 0]; for further information, see Figs. 3–4). Asymmetry between both aspects (brown, w → sh; green, sh → w) is proved at higher lags (│lag│ = 0–1: P = 0.1895; │lag│ = 4-5: P = 0.0153, t test; nss = 50). Circles, means; vertical bars, SEMs. b Significance values (t test) of the differences of Did values (nss = 50) between lagged and synchronous conditions; ordinate P (∆Did) = P {∆RI-C [│lag│ > 0]–ref D}, in both aspects of interactions. Abscissa: lag [w after sh]) scaled in ff and ms (cf. Figs. 3–4)
Mentions: We compared the values of Did [│lag│ > 0] with those under synchronous assessment as reference (ref D = Did [lag = 0]), separately for every session (nss = 50) for wasps and shimmering bees. The differences of the Did values between both lag conditions (ΔDid = Did [│lag│ > 0]–ref D) decreased with the absolute lag value (Fig. 5), but, which is important, differently strongly in the two aspects of interaction: for shimmering bees as responders (w → sh), the ΔDid values differed slightly from the reference, whereas for wasps as responders (sh → w) the ΔDid values decreased much stronger with increasing time shifts (Fig. 5a). Consequently, at longer time shifts (│lag│ > 3) shimmering bees as responders had larger ΔDid values (P = 0.0153, t test; Fig. 5a) and their rates P (∆Did) differed more strongly than with wasps as responders.Fig. 5

Bottom Line: In particular, the concerted action of shimmering behaviour is known to effectively confuse and repel predators.The findings give evidence that shimmering honeybees utilize directional alignment to enforce their repelling power against preying wasps.This phenomenon can be identified as predator driving which is generally associated with mobbing behaviour (particularly known in selfish herds of vertebrate species), which is, until now, not reported in insects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, University Graz, Graz, Austria, gerald.kastberger@uni-graz.at.

ABSTRACT
The open nesting behaviour of giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) accounts for the evolution of a series of defence strategies to protect the colonies from predation. In particular, the concerted action of shimmering behaviour is known to effectively confuse and repel predators. In shimmering, bees on the nest surface flip their abdomens in a highly coordinated manner to generate Mexican wave-like patterns. The paper documents a further-going capacity of this kind of collective defence: the visual patterns of shimmering waves align regarding their directional characteristics with the projected flight manoeuvres of the wasps when preying in front of the bees' nest. The honeybees take here advantage of a threefold asymmetry intrinsic to the prey-predator interaction: (a) the visual patterns of shimmering turn faster than the wasps on their flight path, (b) they "follow" the wasps more persistently (up to 100 ms) than the wasps "follow" the shimmering patterns (up to 40 ms) and (c) the shimmering patterns align with the wasps' flight in all directions at the same strength, whereas the wasps have some preference for horizontal correspondence. The findings give evidence that shimmering honeybees utilize directional alignment to enforce their repelling power against preying wasps. This phenomenon can be identified as predator driving which is generally associated with mobbing behaviour (particularly known in selfish herds of vertebrate species), which is, until now, not reported in insects.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus