Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 58484

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Guest Editor
Functional Morphology and Biomechanics, Institute of Zoology, Kiel University, D - 24118 Kiel, Germany
Interests: cuticle; insect wing; insect flight; mechanics of biological materials; biomechanics; functional morphology; biomimetics

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Guest Editor
Department of Functional Morphology and Biomechanics, Zoological Institute, Kiel University, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Interests: biological attachment; functional morphology; biomechanics; biotribology; biomimetics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
Interests: insect feeding behavior; biomechanics; bio-inspired systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Insects is dedicated to Professor Dr. Leonid I. Fransevich, a corresponding member of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences and Professor Emeritus at Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, Kiev, Ukraine, for his work in insect functional morphology, physiology and biomechanics and on the occasion of his 85 birthday.

Leonid Frantsevich was born in 1935 in Kiev, Ukraine. He graduated from the Faculty of Biology of the Shevchenko Kiev State University with a diploma in Biology–Zoology. He defended his PhD thesis “Fauna of Lepidoptera of the Middle Dnieper Valley” (1963) and his doctoral (habilitation) dissertation “Visual analysis of space in insects” (1981), both in Entomology. For over 40 years, he has been working at the Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, where he currently holds the position of leading researcher.

Professor Fransevich made a number of important discoveries in the studies of insects, in particular, for the first time he discovered such a phenomenon as the ability of animals to recognize random two-dimensional images by their texture. He showed astro orientation in Coleoptera during homing and identified structural elements of the olfactory center in insect brain (glomeruli of the deutocerebrum) by morphological characteristics. He described and experimentally studied a new type of proprioceptor (arcular organ) in Coleoptera. He demonstrated the spatial stability of visual orientation behind local and astro landmarks in insects during homing on inclined surfaces. He proposed an orientation model using polarized sky light based on a standard polarization sensitivity direction map embedded in the retinal structure and demonstrated the spatial stability of topological signs of visual key stimuli in insects.

Leonid Frantsevich was the first to use the skeletal model of the kinematic system of walking insects for the purpose of describing and analyzing movements, solving the inverse kinematics problem for reconstructing the joint angles, which are not directly observed. Using inverse kinematics methods, he studied in detail the kinematics of locomotor maneuvers in walking insects: turns on a plane, overturns, walking on thin rods, turning at the end of a thin rod, as well as the kinematics of opening-closing elytra in Coleoptera. He contributed to the research on kinematics and mechanism of deployment of the arolium (a sticky pad at the insect pretarsus) and the role of pre-stressed structures in this process. Having studied the mechanics of the composed middle coxa in dipterans, Leonid Frantsevich showed that this structure is a marker of the body segment to which the leg is attached, and discovered manifestations of homeosis (the appearance of a structure in another body segment) in certain dipteran taxa.

From Autumn 1986 to 1988, Leonid Frantsevich headed the work of Kiev zoologists in the Chornobyl NPP site and the Exclusion Zone. At that time, his research developed in two directions: radioecological and general ecological ones. He calculated the volume of the removal of the radionuclides from the Exclusion Zone by migratory birds and then proposed an integral estimate of the offset as a product of three quantities. The resulting estimate turned out to be insignificant in comparison with the total removal of radionuclides outside the zone and did not require specific countermeasures.

In 1989–1994, Leonid Frantsevich and his colleagues carried out a wide bioindication of 90Sr pollution of water bodies and land on the basis of the beta radioactivity of mollusk shells. Maps of 90Sr pollution of the Kiev region and rivers of the Dnieper basin were compiled. The experience of data generalization for multi-species collections was used to reconstruct the radioactive pollution of various species of wild animals based on the study of a few representative species, which are accepted as comparison standards. This standardization made it possible to depict the radionuclide contamination of wild animals on a map (2000). Based on the methods of processing multicomponent collections, Leonid Frantsevich created the first model for optimizing the permissible levels of radionuclides in food (1997).

Leonid Frantsevich was the first to draw attention to the fact that, in most of the exclusion and resettlement zones (over 98% of the total area—about 3 thousand km2), the course of events in biocenoses was determined not by the harmful effect of radiation, but rather by the removal of anthropogenic pressure on wildlife after the evacuation of the population, large-scale engineering interventions. Research and accounting of general ecological patterns were needed for the management of the alienated territories. He proposed the concept of a mosaic reserve of the Exclusion Zone with the allocation of scientifically or nature-protected lands. The principle of the mosaic reserve was approved by the Scientific and Technical Council under the Administration of the Exclusion Zone.

Leonid Frantsevich have been very successful and productive (over 150 original publications and related books, the most significant of which are "Visual analysis of space in insects" (1980), "Spatial orientation of animals" (1986) and "Animals in the radioactive zone" (1991). During his career he has received several awards for his many contributions to science, including State prize of the USSR (1987), State prize of the Ukraine (2004)) and being elected as a corresponding member of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences (1990), to name a few.

We are organizing a Special Issue honoring Prof. Dr. Frantsevich’s distinguished scientific career over the past 60 years. This Special Issue will consist of original research articles and review articles related to functional morphology and biomechanics of insects, his favorite topic.

Dr. Hamed Rajabi
Prof. Dr. Stanislav N. Gorb
Dr. Jianing Wu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • structure
  • evolution
  • scaling
  • materials
  • locomotion
  • robotics
  • design
  • bioinspiration

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

3 pages, 151 KiB  
Editorial
Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics
by Hamed Rajabi, Jianing Wu and Stanislav Gorb
Insects 2021, 12(12), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121108 - 12 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2844
Abstract
Insects are the most diverse animal taxon, both in terms of the number of species and the number of individuals [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)

Research

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12 pages, 3481 KiB  
Article
WingMesh: A Matlab-Based Application for Finite Element Modeling of Insect Wings
by Shahab Eshghi, Vahid Nooraeefar, Abolfazl Darvizeh, Stanislav N. Gorb and Hamed Rajabi
Insects 2020, 11(8), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080546 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3591
Abstract
The finite element (FE) method is one of the most widely used numerical techniques for the simulation of the mechanical behavior of engineering and biological objects. Although very efficient, the use of the FE method relies on the development of accurate models of [...] Read more.
The finite element (FE) method is one of the most widely used numerical techniques for the simulation of the mechanical behavior of engineering and biological objects. Although very efficient, the use of the FE method relies on the development of accurate models of the objects under consideration. The development of detailed FE models of often complex-shaped objects, however, can be a time-consuming and error-prone procedure in practice. Hence, many researchers aim to reach a compromise between the simplicity and accuracy of their developed models. In this study, we adapted Distmesh2D, a popular meshing tool, to develop a powerful application for the modeling of geometrically complex objects, such as insect wings. The use of the burning algorithm (BA) in digital image processing (DIP) enabled our method to automatically detect an arbitrary domain and its subdomains in a given image. This algorithm, in combination with the mesh generator Distmesh2D, was used to develop detailed FE models of both planar and out-of-plane (i.e., three-dimensionally corrugated) domains containing discontinuities and consisting of numerous subdomains. To easily implement the method, we developed an application using the Matlab App Designer. This application, called WingMesh, was particularly designed and applied for rapid numerical modeling of complicated insect wings but is also applicable for modeling purposes in the earth, engineering, mathematical, and physical sciences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)
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10 pages, 2798 KiB  
Article
Resilin Distribution and Sexual Dimorphism in the Midge Antenna and Their Influence on Frequency Sensitivity
by Brian D. Saltin, Yoko Matsumura, Andrew Reid, James F. Windmill, Stanislav N. Gorb and Joseph C. Jackson
Insects 2020, 11(8), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080520 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3016
Abstract
Small-scale bioacoustic sensors, such as antennae in insects, are often considered, biomechanically, to be not much more than the sum of their basic geometric features. Therefore, little is known about the fine structure and material properties of these sensors—even less so about the [...] Read more.
Small-scale bioacoustic sensors, such as antennae in insects, are often considered, biomechanically, to be not much more than the sum of their basic geometric features. Therefore, little is known about the fine structure and material properties of these sensors—even less so about the degree to which the well-known sexual dimorphism of the insect antenna structure affects those properties. By using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), we determined material composition patterns and estimated distribution of stiffer and softer materials in the antennae of males and females of the non-biting midge Chironomus riparius. Using finite element modelling (FEM), we also have evidence that the differences in composition of these antennae can influence their mechanical responses. This study points to the possibility that modulating the elastic and viscoelastic properties along the length of the antennae can affect resonant characteristics beyond those expected of simple mass-on-a-spring systems—in this case, a simple banded structure can change the antennal frequency sensitivity. This constitutes a simple principle that, now demonstrated in another Dipteran group, could be widespread in insects to improve various passive and active sensory performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)
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24 pages, 12526 KiB  
Article
How Does the Intricate Mouthpart Apparatus Coordinate for Feeding in the Hemimetabolous Insect Pest Erthesina fullo?
by Yan Wang and Wu Dai
Insects 2020, 11(8), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080503 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3607
Abstract
The yellow marmorated stink bug, Erthesina fullo (Thunberg, 1783), is a major pest of certain tree fruits in Northeast Asia. To better understand the feeding mechanism of E. fullo, the fine structure of the mouthparts, including the distribution and abundance of sensilla, [...] Read more.
The yellow marmorated stink bug, Erthesina fullo (Thunberg, 1783), is a major pest of certain tree fruits in Northeast Asia. To better understand the feeding mechanism of E. fullo, the fine structure of the mouthparts, including the distribution and abundance of sensilla, are examined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and their functions are observed directly under laboratory conditions. The feeding performance is described in detail and illustrated for the first time. The adult feeding process involves several steps, including exploring and puncturing of the host plant epidermis, a probing phase, an engorgement phase, and removal of the mouthparts from the host tissue. Proceeding from labium towards the mandibular stylets, the movement pattern becomes increasingly stereotypical, including the sensilla on the tip of the labium probing, the labium making an elbow-like bend between the first and second segment, the base of the stylet fascicle housing in the groove of the labrum, the mandibular stylets penetrating the site and maxillary stylets feeding. In terms of morphology, the mouthparts are similar to those of other Heteroptera, consisting of a triangular pyramidal labrum, a tube-like and segmented labium with a deep groove on the anterior side, and a stylet fascicle consisting of two mandibular and two maxillary stylets. The four-segmented labium has five types of sensilla basiconica, three types of sensilla trichodea, two types of sensilla campaniformia and 1 type of sensilla coeloconica. Among them, sensilla trichodea one and sensilla basiconica one are most abundant. The tripartite apex of the labium is covered with abundant sensilla trichodea three and a few sensilla basiconica 5. The mandibular stylet tips have two nodules preapically on the dorsal margin of the convex external surface, which may help in penetrating plant tissue and anchoring the mouthparts. The externally smooth maxillary stylets interlock to form a larger food canal and a smaller salivary canal. The structure and function of the mouthparts are adapted for the phytophagous feeding habit in this species. Similarities and differences between the mouthparts of E. fullo and those of other Heteroptera are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)
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19 pages, 6598 KiB  
Article
The Geometry and Mechanics of Insect Wing Deformations in Flight: A Modelling Approach
by Robin Wootton
Insects 2020, 11(7), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11070446 - 17 Jul 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 7023
Abstract
The nature, occurrence, morphological basis and functions of insect wing deformation in flight are reviewed. The importance of relief in supporting the wing is stressed, and three types are recognized, namely corrugation, an M-shaped section and camber, all of which need to be [...] Read more.
The nature, occurrence, morphological basis and functions of insect wing deformation in flight are reviewed. The importance of relief in supporting the wing is stressed, and three types are recognized, namely corrugation, an M-shaped section and camber, all of which need to be overcome if wings are to bend usefully in the morphological upstroke. How this is achieved, and how bending, torsion and change in profile are mechanically interrelated, are explored by means of simple physical models which reflect situations that are visible in high speed photographs and films. The shapes of lines of transverse flexion are shown to reflect the timing and roles of bending, and their orientation is shown to determine the extent of the torsional component of the deformation process. Some configurations prove to allow two stable conditions, others to be monostable. The possibility of active remote control of wing rigidity by the thoracic musculature is considered, but the extent of this remains uncertain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)
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20 pages, 3235 KiB  
Article
Adhesion Performance in the Eggs of the Philippine Leaf Insect Phyllium philippinicum (Phasmatodea: Phylliidae)
by Thies H. Büscher, Elise Quigley and Stanislav N. Gorb
Insects 2020, 11(7), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11070400 - 28 Jun 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 7633
Abstract
Leaf insects (Phasmatodea: Phylliidae) exhibit perfect crypsis imitating leaves. Although the special appearance of the eggs of the species Phyllium philippinicum, which imitate plant seeds, has received attention in different taxonomic studies, the attachment capability of the eggs remains rather anecdotical. We [...] Read more.
Leaf insects (Phasmatodea: Phylliidae) exhibit perfect crypsis imitating leaves. Although the special appearance of the eggs of the species Phyllium philippinicum, which imitate plant seeds, has received attention in different taxonomic studies, the attachment capability of the eggs remains rather anecdotical. We herein elucidate the specialized attachment mechanism of the eggs of this species and provide the first experimental approach to systematically characterize the functional properties of their adhesion by using different microscopy techniques and attachment force measurements on substrates with differing degrees of roughness and surface chemistry, as well as repetitive attachment/detachment cycles while under the influence of water contact. We found that a combination of folded exochorionic structures (pinnae) and a film of adhesive secretion contribute to attachment, which both respond to water. Adhesion is initiated by the glue, which becomes fluid through hydration, enabling adaption to the surface profile. Hierarchically structured pinnae support the spreading of the glue and reinforcement of the film. This combination aids the egg’s surface in adapting to the surface roughness, yet the attachment strength is additionally influenced by the egg’s surface chemistry, favoring hydrophilic substrates. Repetitive detachment and water-mediated adhesion can optimize the location of the egg to ensure suitable environmental conditions for embryonic development. Furthermore, this repeatable and water-controlled adhesion mechanism can stimulate further research for biomimeticists, ecologists and conservationalists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)
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24 pages, 11908 KiB  
Article
Unique Fine Morphology of Mouthparts in Haematoloecha nigrorufa (Stål) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) Adapted to Millipede Feeding
by Yan Wang, Junru Zhang, Wanshan Wang, Jolanta Brożek and Wu Dai
Insects 2020, 11(6), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11060386 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3219
Abstract
Millipede assassin bugs are a diverse group of specialized millipede predators. However, the feeding behavior of Ectrichodiinae remains poorly known, especially how the mouthpart structures relate to various functions in feeding. In this study, fine morphology of the mouthparts and feeding performance of [...] Read more.
Millipede assassin bugs are a diverse group of specialized millipede predators. However, the feeding behavior of Ectrichodiinae remains poorly known, especially how the mouthpart structures relate to various functions in feeding. In this study, fine morphology of the mouthparts and feeding performance of Haematoloecha nigrorufa (Stål, 1867) was observed and described in detail for the first time. The triangular labrum is divided by a conspicuous transverse membrane into a strongly sclerotized basilabrum and a less sclerotized distilabrum. Fifteen types of sensilla are distributed on the mouthparts. Each mandibular stylet has an expanded spatulate apex and about 150 approximately transverse ridges on the external middle side; these help in penetrating the ventral trunk area and the intersegmental membranes of millipede prey. The right maxilla is tapered. On the internal surface are a row dorsal short bristles near the apex and a row of ventral bristles preapically. A longitudinal row of long lamellate structures extend proximate for a considerable distance, lie entirely within the food canal, and bear several short spines and short bristles. There is no obvious difference between males and females in the distribution, number, and types of sensilla on mouthparts. The adult feeding process involves several steps, including searching and capturing prey, paralyzing prey, a resting phase, and a feeding phase. The evolution of the mouthpart morphology and the putative functional significance of their sensilla are discussed, providing insight into the structure and function of the mouthparts adapted for millipede feeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)
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10 pages, 2063 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Ground Type on the Jump Performance of Adults of the Locust Locusta migratoria manilensis: A Preliminary Study
by Chao Wan, Rentian Cao and Zhixiu Hao
Insects 2020, 11(4), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11040259 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2823
Abstract
The jump performance of locusts depends on several physiological and environmental factors. Few studies have examined the effects of different ground types on the jump performance of locusts. Here, mature adult locusts (Locusta migratoria manilensis) were examined using a custom-developed measuring [...] Read more.
The jump performance of locusts depends on several physiological and environmental factors. Few studies have examined the effects of different ground types on the jump performance of locusts. Here, mature adult locusts (Locusta migratoria manilensis) were examined using a custom-developed measuring system to test their jump performance (including postural features, kinematics, and reaction forces) on three types of ground (sand, soil, and wood). Significant differences were primarily observed in the elevation angle at take-off, the tibial angle at take-off, and the component of the mass-specific reaction force along the aft direction of the insect body between wood and the other two ground types (sand and soil). Slippage of the tarsus and insertion of the tibia were often observed when the locusts jumped on sand and soil, respectively. Nevertheless, comparisons of the different parameters of jump initiation (i.e., take-off speed and mass-specific kinetic energy) did not reveal any differences among the three types of ground, indicating that locusts were able to achieve robust jump performance on various substrates. This study provides insights into the biomechanical basis of the locust jump on different types of ground and enhances our understanding of the mechanism underlying the locust jump. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)
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14 pages, 4766 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Wing, Ovipositor, and Cornus Morphologies between Sirex noctilio and Sirex nitobei Using Geometric Morphometrics
by Ming Wang, Lixiang Wang, Ningning Fu, Chenglong Gao, Tegen Ao, Lili Ren and Youqing Luo
Insects 2020, 11(2), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11020084 - 24 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5290
Abstract
Sirex noctilio F. (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) is an invasive woodwasp from Europe and North Africa. Globalization has led to an expanding global presence in pine forests. S. noctilio has been previously introduced outside of its native range and now co-occurs in trees with native [...] Read more.
Sirex noctilio F. (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) is an invasive woodwasp from Europe and North Africa. Globalization has led to an expanding global presence in pine forests. S. noctilio has been previously introduced outside of its native range and now co-occurs in trees with native S. nitobei Matsumura (first discovered in 2016). Damage to Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica Litv in northeast China can be attributed to two types of woodwasp. To distinguish the two species by the traditional taxonomic morphology, we mainly differentiate the color of the male’s abdomen and the female’s leg. There remains intraspecific variation like leg color in the delimitation of related genera or sibling species of Sirex woodwasps. In this study, we used landmark-based geometric morphometrics including principal component analysis, canonical variate analysis, thin-plate splines, and cluster analysis to analyze and compare the wings, ovipositors, and cornus of two woodwasps to ascertain whether this approach is reliable for taxonomic studies of this group. The results showed significant differences in forewing venation and the shapes of pits in the middle of ovipositors among the two species, whereas little difference in hindwings and cornus was observed. This study assists in clarifying the taxonomic uncertainties of Siricidae and lays a foundation for further studies of the interspecific relationships of the genus Sirex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)
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Review

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13 pages, 4090 KiB  
Review
Nectar Feeding by a Honey Bee’s Hairy Tongue: Morphology, Dynamics, and Energy-Saving Strategies
by Hao Wang, Zhigang Wu, Jieliang Zhao and Jianing Wu
Insects 2021, 12(9), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12090762 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 6409
Abstract
Most flower-visiting insects have evolved highly specialized morphological structures to facilitate nectar feeding. As a typical pollinator, the honey bee has specialized mouth parts comprised of a pair of galeae, a pair of labial palpi, and a glossa, to feed on the nectar [...] Read more.
Most flower-visiting insects have evolved highly specialized morphological structures to facilitate nectar feeding. As a typical pollinator, the honey bee has specialized mouth parts comprised of a pair of galeae, a pair of labial palpi, and a glossa, to feed on the nectar by the feeding modes of lapping or sucking. To extensively elucidate the mechanism of a bee’s feeding, we should combine the investigations from glossa morphology, feeding behaviour, and mathematical models. This paper reviews the interdisciplinary research on nectar feeding behaviour of honey bees ranging from morphology, dynamics, and energy-saving strategies, which may not only reveal the mechanism of nectar feeding by honey bees but inspire engineered facilities for microfluidic transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)
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18 pages, 3655 KiB  
Review
Wing Design in Flies: Properties and Aerodynamic Function
by Swathi Krishna, Moonsung Cho, Henja-Niniane Wehmann, Thomas Engels and Fritz-Olaf Lehmann
Insects 2020, 11(8), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080466 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 11027
Abstract
The shape and function of insect wings tremendously vary between insect species. This review is engaged in how wing design determines the aerodynamic mechanisms with which wings produce an air momentum for body weight support and flight control. We work out the tradeoffs [...] Read more.
The shape and function of insect wings tremendously vary between insect species. This review is engaged in how wing design determines the aerodynamic mechanisms with which wings produce an air momentum for body weight support and flight control. We work out the tradeoffs associated with aerodynamic key parameters such as vortex development and lift production, and link the various components of wing structure to flight power requirements and propulsion efficiency. A comparison between rectangular, ideal-shaped and natural-shaped wings shows the benefits and detriments of various wing shapes for gliding and flapping flight. The review expands on the function of three-dimensional wing structure, on the specific role of wing corrugation for vortex trapping and lift enhancement, and on the aerodynamic significance of wing flexibility for flight and body posture control. The presented comparison is mainly concerned with wings of flies because these animals serve as model systems for both sensorimotor integration and aerial propulsion in several areas of biology and engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Functional Morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics)
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