Department of Neurobiology; Reppert Lab
Neuroscience and Neurobiology
Convincing evidence that migrant monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) use a magnetic compass to aid their fall migration has been lacking from the spectacular navigational capabilities of this species. Here we use flight simulator studies to show that migrants indeed possess an inclination magnetic compass to help direct their flight equatorward in the fall. The use of this inclination compass is light-dependent utilizing ultraviolet-A/blue light between 380 and 420 nm. Notably, the significance of light monarchs, the inclination compass may serve as an important orientation mechanism when directional daylight cues are unavailable and may also augment time-compensated sun compass orientation for appropriate directionality throughout the migration.
Animal migration, Animal physiology
DOI of Published Version
Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 24;5:4164. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5164. Link to article on publisher's site
Guerra, Patrick A.; Gegear, Robert J.; and Reppert, Steven M., "A magnetic compass aids monarch butterfly migration" (2014). Neurobiology Publications and Presentations. 168.
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