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The brain behind straight-line orientation in dung beetles

El Jundi, Basil LU ; Baird, Emily LU ; Byrne, Marcus J. and Dacke, Marie LU (2019) In The Journal of experimental biology 222(Pt).
Abstract

For many insects, celestial compass cues play an important role in keeping track of their directional headings. One well-investigated group of celestial orientating insects are the African ball-rolling dung beetles. After finding a dung pile, these insects detach a piece, form it into a ball and roll it away along a straight path while facing backwards. A brain region, termed the central complex, acts as an internal compass that constantly updates the ball-rolling dung beetle about its heading. In this review, we give insights into the compass network behind straight-line orientation in dung beetles and place it in the context of the orientation mechanisms and neural networks of other insects. We find that the neuronal network behind... (More)

For many insects, celestial compass cues play an important role in keeping track of their directional headings. One well-investigated group of celestial orientating insects are the African ball-rolling dung beetles. After finding a dung pile, these insects detach a piece, form it into a ball and roll it away along a straight path while facing backwards. A brain region, termed the central complex, acts as an internal compass that constantly updates the ball-rolling dung beetle about its heading. In this review, we give insights into the compass network behind straight-line orientation in dung beetles and place it in the context of the orientation mechanisms and neural networks of other insects. We find that the neuronal network behind straight-line orientation in dung beetles has strong similarities to the ones described in path-integrating and migrating insects, with the central complex being the key control point for this behavior. We conclude that, despite substantial differences in behavior and navigational challenges, dung beetles encode compass information in a similar way to other insects.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Insect, Navigation, Polarized light, Scarabaeus, Sun compass, Vision
in
The Journal of experimental biology
volume
222
issue
Pt
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:85061142918
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.192450
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
19005c25-c8c9-459d-b4c4-cfec6ad23ba3
date added to LUP
2019-02-15 07:19:40
date last changed
2019-03-12 04:21:19
@article{19005c25-c8c9-459d-b4c4-cfec6ad23ba3,
  abstract     = {<p>For many insects, celestial compass cues play an important role in keeping track of their directional headings. One well-investigated group of celestial orientating insects are the African ball-rolling dung beetles. After finding a dung pile, these insects detach a piece, form it into a ball and roll it away along a straight path while facing backwards. A brain region, termed the central complex, acts as an internal compass that constantly updates the ball-rolling dung beetle about its heading. In this review, we give insights into the compass network behind straight-line orientation in dung beetles and place it in the context of the orientation mechanisms and neural networks of other insects. We find that the neuronal network behind straight-line orientation in dung beetles has strong similarities to the ones described in path-integrating and migrating insects, with the central complex being the key control point for this behavior. We conclude that, despite substantial differences in behavior and navigational challenges, dung beetles encode compass information in a similar way to other insects.</p>},
  author       = {El Jundi, Basil and Baird, Emily and Byrne, Marcus J. and Dacke, Marie},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {Insect,Navigation,Polarized light,Scarabaeus,Sun compass,Vision},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  number       = {Pt},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {The Journal of experimental biology},
  title        = {The brain behind straight-line orientation in dung beetles},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.192450},
  volume       = {222},
  year         = {2019},
}