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Journal Article

Time course of the Houseflies' landing response


Borst,  A
Former Department Information Processing in Insects, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Borst, A. (1986). Time course of the Houseflies' landing response. Biological Cybernetics, 54(6), 379-383. doi:10.1007/BF00355543.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-100F-9
The landing response of stationary flying houseflies Musca domestica has been recorded on video tape. The leg movements were quantitatively evaluated. It could be demonstrated that: 1) only the first two pairs of legs are involved in the reaction (Fig. 1). Prothoracic tarsi are lifted beyond the head, mesothoracic tarsi are lowered and moved sidewards (Fig. 2a and b). 2) the movement of the tarsal tips is mainly due to an opening of one single joint per leg, i.e. the femurtibia joint of the prothoracic leg (Fig. 2c), and the coxa-femur joint of the mesothoracic leg. 3) the landing reaction is a fixed action pattern which does not seem to require further sensory input once it is released (Fig. 4d). 4) the landing responses to a light-off stimulus and to expanding patterns with different angular velocities are indistinguishable (compare Fig. 3a-c with Fig. 2a-c). The only parameter that is obviously dependent on the stimulus conditions, is the latency of the reaction (Fig. 4a-c).