The neurobiological basis of orientation in insects: insights from the silkmoth mating dance.

Abstract

Counterturning is a common movement pattern during orientation behavior in insects. Once male moths sense sex pheromones and then lose the input, they demonstrate zigzag movements, alternating between left and right turns, to increase the probability to contact with the pheromone plume. We summarize the anatomy and function of the neural circuit involved in pheromone orientation in the silkmoth. A neural circuit, the lateral accessory lobe (LAL), serves a role as the circuit module for zigzag movements and controls this operation using a flip-flop neural switch. Circuit design of the LAL is well conserved across species. We hypothesize that this zigzag module is utilized in a wide range of insect behavior. We introduce two examples of the potential use: orientation flight and the waggle dance in bees.

DOI: 10.1016/j.cois.2016.02.009

Cite this paper

@article{Namiki2016TheNB, title={The neurobiological basis of orientation in insects: insights from the silkmoth mating dance.}, author={Shigehiro Namiki and Ryohei Kanzaki}, journal={Current opinion in insect science}, year={2016}, volume={15}, pages={16-26} }