Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 173, Issue 5, pp 595–603

The visual control of courtship behaviour in the fly Poecilobothrus nobilitatus

  • M. F. Land
Original Articles


  1. 1.

    Poecilobothrns nobilitatus has a spectacular courtship in which the males perform a complex aerial display directed towards the females. This begins with short bouts of wing-waving, after which the male hovers in front of the female. This is followed by two types of display flight. In one the male circles in an arc around one side of the female, and in the second he flies over her, rotating through 180° in 40ms. The display flights are not modified once they have begun, and are thus pre-coordinated rather than feedback driven, as in tracking behaviour.

  2. 2.

    Courtship behaviour is confined to the males, and the extra tasks the male nervous system is required to perform are discussed in terms of the information needed for the execution of the behaviour.


Key words

Fly Vision Courtship Behaviour Display 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. F. Land
    • 1
  1. 1.Sussex Centre for Neuroscience, School of Biological Sciences, University of SussexBrightonUK

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