Polarization vision in invertebrates: beyond the boundaries of navigation

Pratibha Yadav, Mark Shein-Idelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Invertebrates possess the unique ability to see polarized light. This allows them to exploit the rich polarization information embedded in their natural environments: patterns in plants, high contrast on water surfaces, distinctive signatures of conspecifics, and the celestial polarization pattern around the sun. From this wide repertoire of polarization signals, studies have primarily focused on understanding how celestial polarization information is converted into an internal compass. This review highlights several studies which suggest that spatio-temporal polarization information is utilized by insects for additional functions, such as signaling, detection, contrast enhancement, and host assessment. It concludes by evaluating recent technological advances for uncovering the full repertoire of polarization-sensitivity in invertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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