Polarisation vision in ants, bees and wasps

Jochen Zeil*, Willi A. Ribi, Ajay Narendra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

36 Citations (Scopus)


We review here what is known from behavioural, anatomical and physiological studies about polarisation sensitivity in the hymenopteran insect groups of ants, wasps and bees. We briefly summarise the behavioural evidence for the use of polarised skylight in orientation and navigation, including some lesser known or less accessible older work, and then review our state of knowledge of the polarisation sensitivity and the arrangement of photoreceptors in compound eyes and in ocelli. We note in particular how little we know about the role of ocelli in polarisation vision.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolarized light and polarization vision in animal sciences
EditorsGábor Horváth
Place of PublicationHeidelberg ; New York ; Dordrecht ; London
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783642547171
ISBN (Print)9783642547188
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpringer Series in Vision Research

Cite this

Zeil, J., Ribi, W. A., & Narendra, A. (2014). Polarisation vision in ants, bees and wasps. In G. Horváth (Ed.), Polarized light and polarization vision in animal sciences (2nd ed., pp. 41-60). (Springer Series in Vision Research; Vol. 2). Heidelberg ; New York ; Dordrecht ; London: Springer, Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-54718-8_3