Individual tracking reveals long-distance flight-path control in a nocturnally migrating moth

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Menz, M. H. M., Scacco, M., Burki-Spycher, H-M., Williams, H. J., Reynolds, D. R., Chapman, J. W. and Wikelski, M. 2022. Individual tracking reveals long-distance flight-path control in a nocturnally migrating moth. Science - AAAS. 377 (6607), pp. 764-768. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abn1663

AuthorsMenz, M. H. M., Scacco, M., Burki-Spycher, H-M., Williams, H. J., Reynolds, D. R., Chapman, J. W. and Wikelski, M.
Abstract

Each year, trillions of insects make long-range seasonal migrations. These movements are relatively well understood at a population level, but how individual insects achieve them remains elusive. Behavioral responses to conditions en route are little studied, primarily owing to the challenges of tracking individual insects. Using a light aircraft and individual radio tracking, we show that nocturnally migrating death's-head hawkmoths maintain control of their flight trajectories over long distances. The moths did not just fly with favorable tailwinds; during a given night, they also adjusted for head and crosswinds to precisely hold course. This behavior indicates that the moths use a sophisticated internal compass to maintain seasonally beneficial migratory trajectories independent of wind conditions, illuminating how insects traverse long distances to take advantage of seasonal resources.

Year of Publication2022
JournalScience - AAAS
Journal citation377 (6607), pp. 764-768
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abn1663
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online11 Aug 2022
ISSN0036-8075
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/989q5/individual-tracking-reveals-long-distance-flight-path-control-in-a-nocturnally-migrating-moth

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