Sci. STKE, 13 February 2007
Biophysics Two Wings Good, Four Wings Better
Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA
Some flying insects have two wings, whereas others have four. The common housefly, which possesses two wings, makes use of the vestigial hindwing (the pendulum-shaped haltere) as a source of mechanosensory input to the neural centers that support stable flight. Sane et al. have asked whether moths, which have four wings, possess a similar kind of flight control mechanism. Instead, the antennae appear to serve a haltere-like function by providing mechanosensory input through hairs or bristles located at their base, whose deflections are translated into afferent neural signals.
Citation: G. Chin, Two Wings Good, Four Wings Better. Sci. STKE 2007, tw56 (2007).
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