Visual deception of a male Libellula depressa by the shiny surface of a parked car (Odonata: Libellulidae)


A male Libellula depressa was observed to mistake a dark-green passenger coach for a water body thus establishing his territory over the surface of the vehicle and using the radio antenna as perch. A videopolarimetric analysis of the car body showed that the light reflected from the bonnet was highly and horizontally polarized with rather similar polarizational characteristics in the red, green and blue part of the spectrum. It is concluded that the insect was deceived by the reflected horizontally polarized light resembling the corresponding pattern at a plane water surface.

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