Infrared radiation from hot cones on cool conifers attracts seed-feeding insects. Insects with a taste for plants commonly respond to specific colours or odours associated with them.
Cone-feeding western conifer seed bugs, however, have come up with a most unusual and intriguing way to locate their food.
They respond to infrared radiation (IR) that is emitted from conifer cones. Compared to needles, cones are on average 15ВєC warmer and emit such strong IR radiation that they stand out like candles on Christmas trees.
Seed bugs receive this IR radiation with special receptors on their abdomen and orient towards “candle-bearing” trees.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Proceedings B is the Royal Society’s flagship biological research journal, dedicated to the rapid publication and broad dissemination of high-quality research papers, reviews and comment and reply papers. The scope of journal is diverse and is especially strong in organismal biology.