• Honeybees (partly marked) on the edge of a brood frame
Chair of Behavioral Physiology & Sociobiology

Spaethe, Johannes

PD Dr. Johannes Spaethe

Research group leader
Chair of Zoology II   /Spaethe lab
Universität Würzburg
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg
Building:B1 (Biozentrum)

My research centers on the function, ecology and evolution of sensory and neuronal systems in insects. In particular, I focus on the visual system in bees. My approach combines the methods of molecular genetics, neurobiology and behavioural science.

Current research projects are:

  • Psychophysics of color vision in bees
  • Molecular evolution of opsins in insects
  • Visual learning and memory in bees
  • Pollination ecology of sexually deceptive orchids
  • Streinzer, M., and Spaethe, J. (2014) Functional morphology of the visual system and mating strategies in bumblebees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus), Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 170, 735--747.
  • Streinzer, M., Paulus, H. F., and Spaethe, J. (2009) Floral colour signal increases short-range detectability of a sexually deceptive orchid to its bee pollinator, Journal of Experimental Biology, The Company of Biologists Ltd 212, 1365--1370.
  • Kapustjanskij, A., Streinzer, M., Paulus, H. F., and Spaethe, J. (2007) Bigger is better: implications of body size for flight ability under different light conditions and the evolution of alloethism in bumblebees, Functional Ecology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd 21, 1130--1136.
  • Spaethe, J., and Briscoe, A. D. (2004) Early Duplication and Functional Diversification of the Opsin Gene Family in Insects, Molecular Biology and Evolution 21, 1583.
  • Spaethe, J., Tautz, J., and Chittka, L. (2001) Visual constraints in foraging bumblebees: Flower size and color affect search time and flight behavior, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98, 3898-3903.