HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Microsurgery and Super Glue show how antennae aid moth navigation

Two-winged insects such as houseflies and mosquitoes that are active during the light of day rely on their vision for flight control, but they also get help from organs called halteres, which grow where a second set of wings might otherwise be found and aid in navigation.

Scientists have wondered how four-winged insects most active at low-light times of the day, such as moths, accomplish complex navigational maneuvers, since they lack halteres. A research team studying hawk moths, the species Manduca sexta, has found an answer, with the unlikely help of microsurgery and Super Glue.

A tiny structure called the Johnston's organ, just above the moth's head at the base of the antenna, contains mechanosensors that allow the organ to function like a gyroscope, sensing a tug on the antenna and sending signals to the brain if the insect gets turned around by, for instance, a gust of wind, said Sanjay Sane, a University of Washington postdoctoral researcher in biology. He is the lead author of a paper describing the research in the Feb. 9 edition of Science.

"Whenever a creature is moving about, it has to have sensory information to tell it what it has done," Sane said. "If a person unintentionally turns around, the inner ear system or eyes will provide that information and allow for a course correction. Flying creatures need to know that information too, and when the light is low and the visual cues are hard to see they have to depend more on the mechanosensory system."

Hawk moths are among crepuscular insects, which are most active during low-light times of the day, at twilight or just before dawn. Like other insects, their antennae allow them to smell. But the researchers suspected the antennae also provided moths with the means to stay on the proper heading while in flight.

To test the theory, Sane removed the long part of the antennae, called flagella, just above the Johnston's organ, then observed as the insect
'"/>

Contact: Vince Stricherz
vinces@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
8-Feb-2007


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Super fruit fly may lead to healthier humans
2. Nitrate in Lake Superior: On the rise
3. Supermap of avian flu yields new info on source/spread
4. Super small nanoelectrodes can probe microscale environments
5. Super-fermenting fungus genome sequenced
6. Super-thin membrane, 50 atoms thick, sorts individual molecules
7. Supercomputing equipment to advance the frontiers of computational biology
8. Super chow, laced with semi-synthetic vitamin E derivative, inhibited spread of cancer in mice
9. Super blackcurrants with boosted vitamin C
10. Supercomputers to transform science
11. Super-sized cassava plants may help fight hunger in Africa

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 30, 2020 , ... ... Phase II contract awarded by the Joint Science & Technology Office—Chemical and Biological ... is to develop, optimize, and scale-up a highly efficient mammalian cell culture-based bioprocess ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... ... the effectiveness of the Invictus Medical Neoasis™ active noise control device to attenuate ... reported that the Neoasis™ device attenuated the alarm sounds from patient monitors, ventilators ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... , ... July 09, 2020 , ... Today CJ BIO ... which will share insight on the “fifth taste” phenomenon that is revolutionizing ingredient mixes, ... Umami Advantage will be live on Monday, July 13, 2020 at11:00 AM (CDT) during ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/31/2020)... ... August 29, 2020 , ... DuPont ... capability in Wuxi, China. The new plant operation will provide the local animal ... technology. , “This facility will improve the flexibility of our offerings to ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... ... making available for free its new white paper – Simulated Transport Methodologies. ... into today’s biologics licensing application (BLA). In response, Modality Solutions shares an ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... August 03, 2020 , ... Introducing Ardent Animal Health – ... , Known as MediVet Biologics since its formation in 2016, ... The new Ardent Animal Health will build on its base of innovative therapies for ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... Anomet Products has ... different materials for use with CRM, neurostimulation, vascular, and related devices. , ... specific design requirements, performance, and cost criteria; especially where solid wire is limited. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: