butterfly vision

Ron Royer royer at warp6.cs.misu.nodak.edu
Tue Apr 28 11:04:18 EDT 1998


I recently received the inquiry repeated below, but am not in a position to
provide an authoritative answer. If anyone on the list is able to do so,
please have at it -- either off-list (address the inquirer, but please copy
me), or on-list, as you choose.


I'm an Associate in Zoology at the Field Museum. We are having a summer
exhibit of living "local butterflies" in a special tent put up by
"Spineless Wonders", a commercial outfit from MN. I'm involved with the
training of the volunteers who will work the exhibit this summer.

I have found a factoid that I have not been able to verify.  The statement
is that "butterflies have split vision.  The monarch, in particular
[others?] see color in the lower half and polarized light in the upper
half. This helps them navigate".  There is no citation.  I would be
grateful if you might verify or negate this info.  I have checked Douglas,
_Lives of Butterflies_, and others and come up empty.

John A. Wagner,  Coleopterist [but I started with Leps.]
<jwagner at fmnh.org>
John A. Wagner
The Field Museum

     __       __
    /  \     /  \    Ronald Alan Royer
   |   o\\ //o   |   Professor in the Division of Science
    \____\o/____/    Minot State University, Minot ND 58707
    /    /O\    \    701-858-3209 (Desk), 3161 (Office)
    \_  / | \  _/    701-839-6933 or 701-858-3163 (FAX)
    '\\/     \//'    <royer at warp6.cs.misu.nodak.edu>
     /         \

   See the _Atlas of North Dakota Butterflies_, now with pictures,
   at <http://www.npwrc.org/resource/distr/lepid/bflynd/bflynd.htm>


   "The only man who can change his mind is the man who's got one."

                                        -- Edward Noyes Westcott

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