Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Biol Lett. 2009 Aug 23;5(4):510-2. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0029. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

Gliding hexapods and the origins of insect aerial behaviour.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR 72204, USA. spyanoviak@ualr.edu

Abstract

Directed aerial descent (i.e. gliding and manoeuvring) may be an important stage in the evolution of winged flight. Although hypothesized to occur in ancestrally wingless insects, such behaviour is unexplored in extant basal hexapods, but has recently been described in arboreal ants. Here we show that tropical arboreal bristletails (Archaeognatha) direct their horizontal trajectories to tree trunks in approximately 90 per cent of falls. Experimental manipulation of the median caudal filament significantly reduced both success rate (per cent of individuals landing on a tree trunk) and performance (glide index) versus controls. The existence of aerial control in the ancestrally wingless bristletails, and its habitat association with an arboreal lifestyle, are consistent with the hypothesis of a terrestrial origin for winged flight in insects.

PMID:
19324632
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2781901
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (1)Free text

Figure 1
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk