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The Neurobiology of an Insect Brain$
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Malcolm Burrows

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198523444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523444.001.0001

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Flying Flying

Flying Flying

Chapter:
(p.475) 11 Flying
Source:
The Neurobiology of an Insect Brain
Author(s):

Malcolm Burrows

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523444.003.0011

Locusts often start to fly by jumping into the air. A decision to jump is not always accompanied by a decision to fly, but flight can result from the consequence of a jump setting up an air current to the head and a loss of tarsal contact with the ground. When in large numbers it is probably the contact with each other that leads to increased excitability, and when coupled with a lack of food leads to the swarms taking to the air. Many sensory clues can lead to this initial response; these include a looming visual stimulus, a shadow, a disruptive sound, or an air current detected by hairs on the head or the cerci. A wind stimulus to the head coupled with a loss of contact of the tarsi with the ground are the experimental stimuli most commonly used to evoke flight.

Keywords:   flying, visual stimulus, experimental stimuli, flight, tarsal contact, locusts

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