The halteres of the blowfly Calliphora

  title={The halteres of the blowfly Calliphora},
  author={Gerbera Nalbach and Roland Hengstenberg},
  journal={Journal of Comparative Physiology A},
We quantitatively analysed compensatory head reactions of flies to imposed body rotations in yaw, pitch and roll and characterized the haltere as a sense organ for maintaining equilibrium. During constant velocity rotation, the head first moves to compensate retinal slip and then attains a plateau excursion (Fig. 3). Below 500°/s, initial head velocity as well as final excursion depend linearily on stimulus velocities for all three axes. Head saccades occur rarely and are synchronous to wing… 

Saccadic head and thorax movements in freely walking blowflies

It is argued that the strategy of turning by saccades improves the performance of the visual system of blowflies.

How do hoverflies use their righting reflex?

It was observed here for the first time that hoverfly reorientation is entirely achieved within 6 wingbeats at angular roll velocities of up to 10×103 deg s−1 and that the onset of their head rotation consistently follows that of their body rotation after a time lag of 16 ms.

Angular Rate Encoding in Haltere Feedback for Flight Stabilization of Dipteran Insects

The halteres of Dipteran insects represent a unique natural solution to inertial rate measurement. Halteres have been observed to influence both flight stability and optical stabilization of the

Representation of Haltere Oscillations and Integration with Visual Inputs in the Fly Central Complex

In cells in the central brain, the timing and rates of neural spiking can be modulated by sensory input from experimental haltere movements, finding haltere sensory information in a brain region known to be involved in slower, higher-order behaviors, such as navigation.

Gaze characteristics of freely walking blowflies Calliphora vicina in a goal-directed task

This work proposes a hypothesis that explains how rotation-independent translatory image flow containing distance information can be determined, and proposes an algorithm that works without requiring differentiation at the behavioral level of the rotational and translational flow components.

Haltere removal alters responses to gravity in standing flies

Responses to sudden free falls in standing flies show that halteres can also sense gravity, suggesting that haltes can serve multiple sensory purposes during different behaviors, expanding their role beyond their canonical use in flight.

A comparison of visual and haltere-mediated equilibrium reflexes in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster

The results show that the visual system is tuned to relatively slow rotation whereas the haltere-mediated response to mechanical rotation increases with rising angular velocity, which may enhance aerodynamic performance by enabling the fly to sense a wide range of angular velocities during flight.

Coriolis and centrifugal forces drive haltere deformations and influence spike timing

Since local strains at the base of the haltere drive deformations of mechanosensory neurons, measured neural encoding mechanisms with structural analyses are combined to predict the spatial and temporal patterns of neural activity and show the viability for timing-based encoding of fly body rotations by halteres.

Body saccades of Drosophila consist of stereotyped banked turns

Analysis of the wing kinematics and aerodynamics showed that flies control aerodynamic torques during the saccade primarily by adjusting the timing and amount of span-wise wing rotation.

Haltere mechanosensory influence on tethered flight behavior in Drosophila

Fly mechanosensory organs influence wing-steering responses toVisual stimuli in a context-dependent way to modulate responses to visual motion, suggesting that the haltere mass is influential in wide-field stabilization, but less so in figure tracking.



Compensatory head roll in the blowfly Calliphora during flight

Video records were made of the blowfly Calliphora erythrocephala L. mainly during tethered flight in a wind-tunnel, to study its movements about the longitudinal body axis (roll), and the limits of fly vision and the advantages of compensatory head movements for different visually guided behaviour are discussed.

The halteres of the blowfly Calliphora

  • G. Nalbach
  • Physics, Education
    Journal of Comparative Physiology A
  • 2004
From these considerations it is concluded that Coriolis forces play the major role in detecting body rotations.

Head Movements in Flies ( Calliphora ) Produced by Deflexion of the Halteres

Behavioural observations of walking flies show that the presence or absence of halteres has a small but nevertheless significant effect on the animals9 ability to detect angular accelerations during walking or to orient with respect to gravity.

Mechanosensory control of compensatory head roll during flight in the blowflyCalliphora erythrocephala Meig.

In the blowflyCalliphora flying stationarily in a wind tunnel, compensatory head movements were elicited by rolling the fly about its longitudinal axis, and the role of resilience of the neck skeleton, and that of different neck sense organs are discussed.

Angular acceleration, compensatory head movements and the halteres of flies (Lucilia serricata)

  • D. Sandeman
  • Biology
    Journal of comparative physiology
  • 2004
Analysis of the photographs shows that the wing movements act to counter the imposed angular accelerations and that during sinusoidal oscillations about the vertical axis, head turns are in antiphase with angular acceleration.

Optomotor control of wing beat and body posture in drosophila

The results obtained so far suggest that the optomotor control of course and altitude in Drosophila requires at least eight independent input channels or equivalent means for the separation of the descending signals from the visual centres.

The gyroscopic mechanism of the halteres of Diptera

  • J. Pringle
  • Engineering
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
  • 1948
The paper gives a detailed anatomical, dynamical and physiological analysis of the gyroscopic mechanism of the halteres of the higher Diptera. (1) A re-examination has been made of the structure of

Control of head movement in the locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

The normal motor output to many of these muscles has been investigated in the intact insect by recording with two intracellular microelectrodes from different fibres of a muscle during slow and fast phases of optokinetic nystagmus elicited by rotation of a striped drum in the visual field.

Biological Sciences: Halteres of Flies as Gyroscopic Organs of Equilibrium

During flight the halteres are vibrated rapidly through an arc of about 90° in the vertical plane with a frequency which is almost certainly identical with that of the wing beat.