Home > Papers from 2012 > Dancing Beetles

Dancing Beetles

The task for a beetle who has just finished rolling a lovely ball of dung, is to get away from the main dung pile as quickly as possible to minimise the risk of somebody stealing their prized ball. One of the most intriguing behaviour components of the ball-rolling behaviour is the dance, where beetles climb their ball and spin around. The dance behaviour often precedes the choice of a departure bearing and follows events that disrupt the beetle’s straight path. Baird et al show how the dance relates to various events and suggest that the dance is a form of visual scanning is used to set and maintain a randomly chosen direction.

Baird E , Byrne MJ , Smolka J , Warrant EJ , Dacke M , 2012 The Dung Beetle Dance: An Orientation Behaviour? PLoS ONE 7(1): e30211

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