Here we have sought to illustrate the potential value of approaching the study of colour-based prey lures through the lens of sensory drive. Sensory drive Tempol (Endler and Basolo, 1998 and Endler, 1992) and its subsidiary models (Christy, 1995 and Ryan, 1990) offer clear potential for expanding our understanding of the puzzling features of colour lure systems, and these systems offer reciprocal benefits for testing and extending evolutionary theory by virtue of their novelty and tractability.
The psychosensory basis of lure attractiveness to ecologically relevant receivers (once identified) presents an intriguing area for future research. For example, receiver colour preferences may be innate (colour naïve), spontaneous (colour experienced, but ‘untrained’ as to rewarding stimuli) and learned/cognitive (colour experienced and ‘trained’ to rewarding stimuli; Ryan and Cummings, 2013 and ten Cate and Rowe, 2007). Experimental tests of perceptual biases, their relative strength and their interaction in determining the attractiveness of lure phenotypes, especially in polymorphic species, may inform questions of macroscale diversity, such as the seemingly biased distribution of lure phenotypes (Table 1). Such knowledge carries great promise for extending our understanding of how biases shape visual signal evolution outside of sexual signalling contexts.