Illuminating the circadian clock in monarch butterfly migration

Oren Froy, Anthony L. Gotter, Amy L. Casselman, Steven M. Reppert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Migratory monarch butterflies use a time-compensated Sun compass to navigate to their overwintering grounds in Mexico. Here, we report that constant light, which disrupts circadian clock function at both the behavioral and molecular levels in monarchs, also disrupts the time-compensated component of flight navigation. We further show that ultraviolet light is important for flight navigation but is not required for photic entrainment of circadian rhythms. Tracing these distinct lightinput pathways into the brain should aid our understanding of the clock-compass mechanisms necessary for successful migration.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1303-1305
Number of pages3
Issue number5623
StatePublished - 23 May 2003


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