The Mexican jumping bean larva, Laspeyresia saltitans, is a moth larva that lives in the seeds of a fern, Sebastiana pavoniana, found throughout deserts in Mexico. Mexican jumping bean larvae are known to jump to avoid the intense heat and sunlight of their environment, but little is known about the specific cues that induce this behavior. We analyzed how different wavelengths of light affected the activity of the jumping bean larvae through exposure to red, green, purple and white light. Larval movement from their original position was measured, and we determined the greatest displacement occurred under red light, and the least activity under purple light, highlighting a mechanism to explain locomotion. As Mexican jumping beans and other insects are exposed to different wavelengths of light throughout the day in their natural habitat, this study helps provide insight on how the composition of sunlight may affect insect activity and behavior.
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Tuske, Amber; Summers, Faith; Rojo, Andrés; Wong, Annie; and Puglisi, Cassandra, "The Influence of Colored Light on Mexican Jumping Bean Larva (Laspeyresia saltitans) Activity" (2023). Research Days Posters 2023. 96.