Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 99, Issue 12, pp 1063–1066

Visual prey detection by near-infrared cues in a fish

  • Denis Meuthen
  • Ingolf P. Rick
  • Timo Thünken
  • Sebastian A. Baldauf
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00114-012-0980-7

Cite this article as:
Meuthen, D., Rick, I.P., Thünken, T. et al. Naturwissenschaften (2012) 99: 1063. doi:10.1007/s00114-012-0980-7

Abstract

Many animal species are able to perceive light wavelengths beyond those visible to humans. While numerous species are additionally sensitive to short wavelengths (UV), long wavelengths such as the near-infrared spectrum (NIR) are supposed to be unsuitable for visual perception. Here, we experimentally show that under exclusive NIR illumination, the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus displays a clear foraging response towards NIR reflecting prey. Additional control experiments without prey indicate that the observed behavior is not a mere response to the NIR environment. These results give first evidence for NIR visual sensitivity in a functional context and thus challenge the current view about NIR perception.

Keywords

Pelvicachromis taeniatusVisual perceptionForaging behaviorNear-infrared sensitivity

Abbreviations

UV

Ultraviolet

NIR

Near-infrared

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denis Meuthen
    • 1
  • Ingolf P. Rick
    • 1
  • Timo Thünken
    • 1
  • Sebastian A. Baldauf
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Evolutionary Biology and EcologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Theoretical Biology Group, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary StudiesRijksuniversiteit GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands