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J Theor Biol. 2007 Jul 21;247(2):266-80. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

Interaction between arthropod filiform hairs in a fluid environment.

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Department of Mathematical Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA.


Many arthropods use filiform hairs as mechanoreceptors to detect air motion. In common house crickets (Acheta domestica) the hairs cover two antenna-like appendages called cerci at the rear of the abdomen. The biomechanical stimulus-response properties of individual filiform hairs have been investigated and modeled extensively in several earlier studies. However, only a few previous studies have considered viscosity-mediated coupling between pairs of hairs, and only in particular configurations. Here, we present a model capable of calculating hair-to-hair coupling in arbitrary configurations. We simulate the coupled motion of a small group of mechanosensory hairs on a cylindrical section of cercus. We have found that the coupling effects are non-negligible, and likely constrain the operational characteristics of the cercal sensory array.

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