Hierarchy of sun, beach slope, and landmarks as cues for Y-axis orientation of the supratidal amphipod Talorchestia longicornis (Say)


Journal Article

The semi-terrestrial amphipod Talorchestia longicornis (Say) undergoes Y-axis orientation and has a hierarchy among orientation cues. A previous study found that they used sun compass orientation and moved in the onshore direction of the home beach in both air and water. The present study determined whether this species could also use local landmarks and beach slope as orientation cues. They oriented upslope in simulated darkness in the laboratory on both dry and wet sand with threshold slopes of 2° and 4°, respectively. When tested outside in an arena in air on wet sand, they were disoriented when sun, slope, and landmarks were absent as cues. If presented with single cues, they moved upslope, toward landmarks and in the up-beach direction of the home beach during sun compass orientation. Using paired cues, sun was dominant over slope and landmarks, while slope was dominant over landmarks. In the presence of all three cues, amphipods displayed sun compass orientation in all test combinations except when slope and landmarks were paired together against the sun, which evoked a bimodal response. Thus, the hierarchy of cues for up-beach movement of T. longicornis during Y-axis orientation is the sun, then the slope, and finally the landmarks. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Walsh, ME; Bourla, MH; Sabella, CM; Forward, RB

Published Date

  • July 8, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 203 - 220

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1029-0362

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1023-6244

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/10236244.2010.490325

Citation Source

  • Scopus