Antennal Mechanosensors Mediate Flight Control in Moths

  title={Antennal Mechanosensors Mediate Flight Control in Moths},
  author={Sanjay P. Sane and Alexandre Dieudonn{\'e} and Mark A. Willis and Thomas L. Daniel},
  pages={863 - 866}
Flying insects have evolved sophisticated sensory capabilities to achieve rapid course control during aerial maneuvers. Among two-winged insects such as houseflies and their relatives, the hind wings are modified into club-shaped, mechanosensory halteres, which detect Coriolis forces and thereby mediate flight stability during maneuvers. Here, we show that mechanosensory input from the antennae serves a similar role during flight in hawk moths, which are four-winged insects. The antennae of… 
The role of wing mechanosensory feedback in insect flight control
Results demonstrate that the wings can provide information about body dynamics during locomotion, a role previously thought to be the sole domain of the halteres, and support the wings’ role as context-dependent sensory structures.
Control of moth flight posture is mediated by wing mechanosensory feedback
The results indicate that, in addition to their role as actuators during locomotion, insect wings serve as sensors that initiate reflexes that control body dynamics, suggesting that the wings can encode information about flight dynamics.
Micromechanical Actuators for Insect Flight Mechanics
The goal of this project is to design and fabricate micromechanical actuators that can stimulate the antennae of the crepuscular hawk moth Manduca Sexta, and study the flight control mechanism by mechanical stimulation.
Antennal Mechanosensory Neurons Mediate Wing Motor Reflexes in Flying Drosophila
These results are consistent with a model in which flying flies use JO neurons to detect increases in the wing-induced airflow and that JO neurons are involved in a response that decreases contralateral wing stoke amplitude.
Antennal regulation of migratory flight in the neotropical moth Urania fulgens
Migrating moths with amputated flagella could not recover their proper migratory orientations, suggesting that antennal integrity is necessary for long-distance navigation.
Wireless Stimulation of Antennal Muscles in Freely Flying Hawkmoths Leads to Flight Path Changes
It is shown that ultra-low-current electrical stimulation of antennal muscles in freely-flying hawkmoths leads to repeatable, transient changes in the animals' pitch angle, as well as less predictable changes in flight speed and flight altitude.
Visual feedback influences antennal positioning in flying hawk moths
Electrophysiological and behavioral evidence is presented to show that, in addition to the Böhm's bristles, antennal muscles of hawk moths also respond to bilateral visual input, which suggests visual feedback may be involved in slower, bilaterally coordinated movements of the antenna during visually guided flight maneuvers.
The role of visual and mechanosensory cues in structuring forward flight in Drosophila melanogaster
It is shown that Drosophila melanogaster, magnetically tethered so as to be able to rotate about their yaw axis, are able to detect and orient into a wind, as would be experienced during forward flight.
Encoding properties of the mechanosensory neurons in the Johnston's organ of the hawk moth, Manduca sexta
The encoding properties of individual scolopidia from the Johnston's organs in the hawk moth, Manduca sexta, are characterized through intracellular neurophysiological recordings from axons of theScolopidial neurons to showcase the speed and high sensitivity of scolipidia of the Johnston’s organs, and hence their ability to encode fine antennal vibrations.


Haltere-mediated equilibrium reflexes of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.
  • M. Dickinson
  • Biology
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 1999
The results indicate that flies possess a robust equilibrium reflex in which angular rotations of the body elicit compensatory changes in both the amplitude and stroke frequency of the wings.
Aerodynamic and mechanical properties of the antennae as air-current sense organs inLocusta migratoria
The mechanical properties of the flagellum and its dynamic characteristics are analyzed which are both a prerequisite for the evaluation of the adequate stimulus for the pedicellar mechanoreceptors and their possible role in flight control.
Antennae: Another Wind-sensitive Receptor in Locusts
FIVE pairs of wind-sensitive hair beds at the upper part of the head control flight posture and wing movement of locusts1–7. But the antennae of flies and bees are airflow receptors which regulate
Acoustic sensitivity of fly antennae.
Organs of Equilibrium in Flying Insects
It is in such insects (Diptera, in which the forewings alone are functional, and Strepsiptera with functional hindwings only) that the reduced appendages are transformed into halteres.
Flight and flight control by the antennae in the Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae L., Lepidoptera)
Summary1.In the Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae L.), flying tethered on a flight balance in front of a wind tunnel (Fig. 1), different kinematic and aerodynamic flight variables were recorded
Visual input to the efferent control system of a fly's "gyroscope".
It is shown that motoneurons innervating muscles of the haltere receive strong excitatory input from directionally sensitive visual interneurons in the form of efferent modulation of hard-wired equilibrium reflexes.
Organization of the antennal motor system in the sphinx moth Manduca sexta
The antennae of the sphinx moth Manduca sexta are multimodal sense organs, each comprising three segments: scape, pedicel, and flagellum, and the cell bodies of motoneurons innervating the intrinsic muscles reside mainly among the neuronal somata situated dorsolateral to that neuropil.
Induced airflow in flying insects II. Measurement of induced flow
The hot wire anemometry technique provides a useful means to quantify the aerodynamic signature of wing flexion, and demonstrates evidence for the predictions of a mathematical model proposed in the companion paper.
Visual control of flight behaviour in the hoverflySyritta pipiens L.
The visually guided flight behaviour of groups of male and femaleyritta pipiens was filmed at 50 f.p.s. and analysed frame by frame and it was shown that to synchronise the two flies the sideways tracking system must also be operative.