The roles of vision and antennal mechanoreception in hawkmoth flight control
Flying animals need continual sensory feedback about their body position and orientation for flight control. The visual system provides essential but slow feedback. In contrast, mechanosensory channels can provide feedback at much shorter timescales. How the contributions from these two senses are integrated remains an open question in most insect groups. In Diptera, fast mechanosensory feedback is provided by organs called halteres, and is crucial for the control of rapid flight manoeuvres, while vision controls manoeuvres in lower temporal frequency bands. Here we have investigated the visual-mechanosensory integration in the hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum. They represent a large group of insects that use Johnston's organs in their antennae to provide mechanosensory feedback on perturbations in body position. Our experiments show that antennal mechanosensory feedback specifically mediates fast flight manoeuvres, but not slow ones. Moreover, we did not observe compensatory interactions between antennal and visual feedback.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 2 and 3, as well as Figure 2-figure supplement 1, Figure 2-figure supplement 2 and Figure 3-figure supplement 1.
Article and author information
Swedish Research Council (VR621‐2012‐2212)
- Almut Kelber
Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse
- Almut Kelber
Carl Tryggers Stiftelse för Vetenskaplig Forskning (15:108)
- James J Foster
Erasmus Mundus Scholarship
- Ajinkya Dahake
Air Force Office for Scientific Research (FA2386‐11‐1‐ 4057)
- Sanjay P Sane
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Ronald L Calabrese, Emory University, United States
- Received: April 16, 2018
- Accepted: December 8, 2018
- Accepted Manuscript published: December 10, 2018 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: December 21, 2018 (version 2)
© 2018, Dahake et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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