The implications of insects’ vision for territorial defense have been relatively little studied in the field. In the dragonfly Perithemis tenera Say we investigated whether either the angle at which an intruder was viewed by a territorial resident or the background against which it was viewed affected the detection of that intruder. Residents detected intruders at a greater distance if the intruders were directly in front of them; they also detected more intruders in front of them than from other angles. Intruders viewed against distant vegetation were detected more readily than were intruders against near vegetation. Residents detected more intruders viewed against distant vegetation than viewed against near vegetation; however, more intruders than expected were detected against near vegetation. The probability of detecting intruders depends on the angle at which they are viewed and the background behind them. Hence, there may be selection on territorial residents to adjust their orientation and space use to enhance their view of their territory and intruders.
Switzer, Paul and Eason, Perri, "Proximate constraints on intruder detection in the dragonfly Perithemis tenera (Odonata: Libellulidae): effects of angle of approach and background" (2000). Faculty Research & Creative Activity. 393.