Mobility and Locomotion

  • Graham E. Rotheray
Part of the Zoological Monographs book series (ZM, volume 4)


Movement of both the whole body and individual components is dealt with in this chapter. The aim is to show that movement is a source of diversity in cyclorrhaphan larvae and that characterising it simply in terms of creeping and crawling underestimates its specialised nature. In cyclorrhaphan larvae, Diptera groundplan states of leglessness and peristalsis are retained. These characteristics correlate probably to development taking place submerged in dense media where streamlining is an advantage. Films of movement in cyclorrhaphan larvae show that peristalsis is developed and specialisations correlate to an array of particular circumstances. Attachment structures that are critical to movement vary from spicules to suckers and larvae are able to tunnel, burrow, swim, dive, jump and traverse complex topographies such as plant surfaces. Larvae specialised for movement across plants have prehensile qualities and combine peristalsis with additional muscular movements and enhanced attachment capability involving grasping organs comprising segment modules, the head pump, sticky saliva and faeces.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham E. Rotheray
    • 1
  1. 1.National Museums of ScotlandEdinburghUK

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