New paper - polarized light communication in mantis shrimp

A new paper in press from our group investigating the evolution of polarized body patterns in Haptosquilla mantis shrimps:

Out of the blue: the evolution of horizontally polarized signals in Haptosquilla (Crustacea, Stomatopoda, Protosquillidae). 

How, M.J., Porter, M.L., Radford, A.N., Feller, K.D., Temple, S.E., Caldwell, R.L., Marshall, N.J., Cronin, T.W., Roberts, N.W. Journal of Experimental Biology, doi: 10.1242/eb.107581, 2014.

Abstract: The polarization of light provides information that is used by many animals for a number of different visually guided behaviours. Several marine species, such as stomatopod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs, communicate using visual signals that contain polarized information, content that is often part of a more complex multi-dimensional visual signal. In this work, we investigate the evolution of polarized signals in species of Haptosquilla, a widespread genus of stomatopod, as well as related protosquillids. We present evidence for a pre-existing bias towards horizontally polarized signal content and demonstrate that the properties of the polarization vision system in these animals increase the signal-to-noise ratio of the signal. Combining these results with the increase in efficacy that polarization provides over intensity and hue in a shallow marine environment, we propose a joint framework for the evolution of the polarized form of these complex signals based on both efficacy-driven (proximate) and content-driven (ultimate) selection pressures.