Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Neurosci. 2010 Sep;33(9):399-406. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 Jun 2.

Navigational mechanisms of migrating monarch butterflies.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA. Steven.Reppert@umassmed.edu

Abstract

Recent studies of the iconic fall migration of monarch butterflies have illuminated the mechanisms behind their southward navigation while using a time-compensated sun compass. Skylight cues, such as the sun itself and polarized light, are processed through both eyes and are probably integrated in the brain's central complex, the presumed site of the sun compass. Time compensation is provided by circadian clocks that have a distinctive molecular mechanism and that reside in the antennae. Monarchs might also use a magnetic compass because they possess two cryptochromes that have the molecular capability for light-dependent magnetoreception. Multiple genomic approaches are now being used with the aim of identifying navigation genes. Monarch butterflies are thus emerging as an excellent model organism in which to study the molecular and neural basis of long-distance migration.

PMID:
20627420
PMCID:
PMC2929297
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2010.04.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center