Experiments with "stingless bees" (Trigona cressoni parastigma) concerning their ability to distinguish ultraviolet patterns. American Museum novitates ; no. 641

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New York City : The American Museum of Natural History
"The social, tropical bee, Trigona cressoni parastigma, could not be induced to come for any of a variety of substances that were offered as food in order to test its ability to form an association between the location of food and some color or color-pattern. However, it was found possible to confuse this bee as to the location of its nest by associating a color or color-pattern with the nest-site and then moving that color or color-pattern elsewhere. When a pattern of alternating segments of black and white was used, the bee distinguished between white tinged with ultraviolet and white not so colored. It also distinguished patterns made up of white with ultraviolet and white without that color. In the training from March 9 to 23 f had marked the site of the nest and one or more e cards had been at various other positions in its vicinity.... The frequent 'tests' probably tended to break down to some extent this training because in them bees going to an f card found that at that time f did not mark the site of the nest but that sometimes e did. Furthermore, these tests presumably included bees that recently emerged and, so, had not been subjected to full training. In spite of these unfavorable factors, a comparison of the observed scores with numbers expected on the basis of pure chance show that in all of the seventeen tests ... except the first, f exceeded expectation. Combining all of the tests, f scored 506 and e scored 124, a ratio of 4.1 to 1, whereas chance would have given a ratio of only 0.8 to 1. Whatever may be this insect's reactions at a greater distance, when alighting it is influenced most by the appearance of a band 4 to 8 mm. wide along the lower half of its entrance hole, this being the place on which it actually alights. The fact that this feral species in its natural environment appreciates and reacts to reflected ultraviolet of sunlight adds to the importance of considering the ultraviolet color of many flowers when discussing the relation between floral color and the behavior of flower-visiting insects"--P. 25.
26 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references.