Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 June 2009
Adult female praying mantises, Sphodromantis lineola (Burr.), were presented with computer-generated black rectangular stimuli that moved horizontally or vertically at 82 deg/s against a homogeneous white background. Both stimulus configuration (orientation in relation to direction) and the retinal location of the stimulus image affected the rate at which mantises responded appetitively (approached or struck at the stimulus). Mantises responded most to square stimuli (12.5 deg × 12.5 deg) when they moved horizontally or vertically through, or horizontally at 24.5 deg below the center of their visual field. Mantises also responded most to vertically (vs. horizontally) oriented rectangular stimuli (12.5 deg × 47 deg) that moved through their visual-field center, irrespective of whether the stimuli moved downward or horizontally. Upward moving stimuli elicited intermediate amounts of behavior with no configuration preference. Mantises did not demonstrate a configuration preference when rectangular stimuli moved ≥24.5 deg outside of the visual-field center. Furthermore, mantises responded very little and demonstrated no configuration preferences to stimuli that moved less than ≈83 deg through their visual field even if the stimuli moved through the visual-field center.
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