Ecosensory Functions in Insects (with Remarks on Arachnida)

  • M. Gogala
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 18)


The large number of insect species and their adaptations to the diversity of habitats and modes of life present an inexhaustable source for the study of ecophysiological adaptations in general and ecosensory functions in particular. According to the data from Borror and DeLong (1971) given in Romoser’s (1973) handbook there are over 700,000 insect species described, with the biggest systematic groups being Coleoptera (290,000), Lepidoptera (110,000), Hymenoptera (100,000), Diptera (90,000), Hemiptera (55,000) and Orthoptera (20,000). All the other groups do not exceed 5,000 known species. Even the evaluation of ecosensory functions of bigger groups of insects such as Coleoptera, Hymenoptera or Diptera would require a lot of work and perhaps all the pages in this book. So the only possibility to remain in the reasonable limits of a chapter is to restrict ourselves to certain modalities and certain cases of sensory adaptations which seem to be typical of insects. Because of many similarities between the two groups there are some remarks added also for Arachnida, another important group of Arthropoda, which was almost as successful in the evolution as Insecta (estimated number of species 30,000).


Spectral Sensitivity Visual Pigment Substrate Vibration Sound Communication Front Wing 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altmann, G. and Warnke, U. (1973). Registrierung von Tierbewegungen mit Hilfe der Körperoberflächenladungen. Experientia, 29: 1044.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Autrum, H. and Thomas, I. (1973). Comparative physiology of color vision in animals. In: Handbook of sensory physiology. Central processing of visual information A, edited by R. Jung, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Autrum, H. and Zwehl von V. (1964). Die spektrale Empfindlichkeit einzelner Sehzellen des Bienenauges. Z. vergl. Physiol. 48: 357–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barns, S.N. and Goldsmith, T.H. (1977). Dark adaptation, sensitivity, and rhodopsin level in the eye of the lobster, Homarus. J. comp. Physiol. 120: 143–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barth, F.G. (1969). Die Feinstruktur des Spinneninteguments. I. Die Cuticula des Laufbeins adulter häutungsferner Tiere. Z. Zellforsch. 97: 137–159.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barth, F.G. (1970). Die Feinstruktur des Spinneninteguments. II. Die räumliche Anordnung der Mikrofasern in der lamelHerten Cuticula und ihre Beziehung zur Gestalt der Porenkanäle. Z. Zellforsch. 104: 87–106.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Becker, G. (1976). Reaction of termites to weak alternating magnetic fields. Naturwissenschaften, 63: 201–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bennet-CIark, H.C. (1971). Acoustics of insect song. Nature (London), 234: 255–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bennet-Clark, H.C. (1975). Acoustics and the behaviour of Drosophila. Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges. 68: 18–28.Google Scholar
  10. Bohn, H. and Täuber, U. (1971). Beziehungen zwischen der Wirkung polarisierten Lichtes auf das Elektroretinogramm und der Ultra-struktur des Auges von Gerris taoustvisy L. Z. vergi. Physiol. 72: 32–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Borror, D.J. and De Long, D.M. (1971). An Introduction to the study of Insects. Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc. New York, 3rd ed.Google Scholar
  12. Burkhardt, D. (1962). Spectral sensitivity and other response characteristics of single visual cells in the arthropod eye. Symp. Soc. Exp. Biol., 16: Biol, receptor mechanisms, 86–109.Google Scholar
  13. Burkhardt, D. (1972). Electrophysiological studies on the compound eye of a stalked-eye fly Cyrtodiopsis dalmanni (Diopsidae, Diptera). J. comp. Physiol. 81: 203–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Burkhardt, D. and De la Motte, I. (1972). 1. Electrophysiological studies on the eyes of Diptera, Mecoptera and Hymenoptera. In: Inform. Proc. in the Visual Syst. Arthropods, edited by R. Weimer., Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Burkhardt, D., De la Motte, I. and Seitz, G. (1966). Physiological optics of the compound eye of the blow fly. In: The functional organization of the compound eye, edited by C.G. Bernhard, Pergamon Press, Oxford, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Burseil, E. ( 1974 a). Environmental aspects - temperature. In: The physiology of Insecta, 2. edition, edited by M. Rockstein, Academic Press,New York, London.Google Scholar
  17. Burseil, E. ( 1974 b). Environmental aspects - humidity. In: The physiology of Insecta, 2. edition, edited by M. Rockstein, Academic Press,New York, London.Google Scholar
  18. Carricaburu, P. (1969). Catadioptrique de l’oeil compose. Vision Res. 9: 1523–1536.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Carricaburu, P. and Chardenot, P. (1967). Spectres d’absorption de la cornee de quelques Arthropodes. Vision Res. 7: 43–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Coki, A. (1972). Thermoreception of the bug Onoopeltus fasoiatus (slov., summary engl.). Biol. Vestn. 20: 39–45.Google Scholar
  21. Coki, A., Kalmring, K. and Wittig, H. (1977). The responses of au-ditory ventral-cord neurons of Locusta migratoria to vibration stimuli. J. comp. Physiol. 120: 161–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dartnall, H.J.A. (1975). Assessing the fitness of visual pigments for their photic environments. In: Vision in Fishes, New approaches in research, edited by M.A. Ali, Plenum Press, New York, London.Google Scholar
  23. Daumer, K. (1958). Blumenfarben wie sie die Bienen sehen. Z. vergi. Physiol. 41: 49–110.Google Scholar
  24. Dethier, V.G. (1963). The Physiology of Insect Senses. Methuen, London, John Wiley et Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  25. Eidmann, H. and Kühlhorn, F. (1970). Lehrbuch der Entomologie. 2. Auflage. Verlag Paul Parey, Hamburg, Berlin.Google Scholar
  26. Eisner, T., Silberglied, R.E., Aneshansley, D., Carrel, D. and Howland, H.C. (1969). Ultraviolet Video-Viewing: The television camera as an insect eye. Science, 166: 1172–1174.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fox, H. and Vevers, G. (1960). The nature of animal colours. Sidg- wick and Jackson, London.Google Scholar
  28. Frisch, von K. (1965). Tanzsprache und Orientierung der Bienen. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Gewecke, M. (1974). The antennae of insects as air-current sense organs and their relationship to the control of flight.In: Exp. Analysis of Insect Behaviour, edited by L. Barton Brown, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.Google Scholar
  30. Gogala, M. (1967). Die spektrale Empfindlichkeit der Doppelaugen von Asoalaphus macaronius Scop. (Neuroptera, Ascalaphidae). Z. vergi. Physiol. 57: 232–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gogala, M. (1969). Die akustische Kommunikation bei der Wanze Tri-tomegas bioolor L. (Heteroptera, Cydnidae). Z. vergi. Physiol. 63: 379–391.Google Scholar
  32. Gogala, M. (1970). Artspezifität der Lautäusserungen bei Erdwanzen (Heteroptera, Cydnidae). Z. vergi. Physiol. 70: 20–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gogala, M., Coki, A., Draslar, K. and Blaevi£, A. (1974). Substrate-borne sound communication in Cydnidae (Heteroptera). J. comp. Physiol. 94: 25–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gogala, M., Hamdorf, K. and Schwemer, J. (1970). Der UV-Sehfarbstoff bei Insekten. Z. vergi. Physiol. 70: 410–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gogala, M. and Razpotnik, R. (1974). An oscillographic sonagraphic method in bioacoustical research (slov., summary engl.) Biol. Vestn. 22: 209–216.Google Scholar
  36. Goldsmith, T.H. and Bernard, G.D. (1974). The visual system of insects. In: The physiology of Insecta, 2. edition, edited by M. Rockstein, Academic Press, New York, London.Google Scholar
  37. Grzimek, B. (ed.) (1969). Grzimeks Tierleben, Enzyklopädie des Tierreichs,2: Insekten. Kindler Verlag, Zürich.Google Scholar
  38. Grzimek, B. (ed.) (1971). Grzimeks Tierleben, Enzyklopädie des Tierreichs,1: Niedere Tiere. Kindler Verlag, Zürich.Google Scholar
  39. Hamdorf, K. and Gogala, M. (1973). Photoregeneration und Bereichs-einstellung der Empfindlichkeit beim UV-Rezeptor. J. comp. Physiol. 86: 231–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hamdorf, K. and Schwemer, J. (1975). Photoregeneration and the adaptation process in insect photoreceptors. In: Photo-receptor optics, edited by A.W. Snyder and R. Menzel, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.Google Scholar
  41. Haskell, P.T. (1957). Stridulation and its analysis in certain Geo-corisae (Hemiptera, Heteroptera). Proc. Zool. Soc. (Lond.) 129: 351–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Haskell, P.T. (1974). Sound production. In: The Physiology of Insecta, 2. edition, edited by M. Rockstein, Academic Press, New York, London.Google Scholar
  43. Henderson, S.T. (1970). Daylight and its spectrum. Adam Hilger Ltd., London.Google Scholar
  44. Hodgson, E.S. (1974). Chemoreception. In: The physiology of Insecta, 2. edition, edited by M. Rockstein, Academic Press, New York, London.Google Scholar
  45. Hoffmann, C. (1964). Zur Funktion der kammförmigen Organe von Skorpionen. Naturwissenschaften, 51: 172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hoffmann, C. (1967). Bau und Funktion der Trichobothrien von Eu- scorpius carpathicus L. Z. vergl. Physiol. 54: 290–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Höglund, G., Hamdorf, K. and Rosner, G. (1973). Trichromatic visual system in an insect and its sensitivity control by blue light. J. comp. Physiol. 86: 265–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Horridge, G.A. (1977). The compound eye of the insects. Scientific American, 237 (1.): 108–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kaestner, A. (1956). Lehrbuch der speziellen Zoologie. Band I.: Wirbellose, 3. Lieferung. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena.Google Scholar
  50. Kaestner, A. (1972). Lehrbuch der speziellen Zoologie. Band I.: Wirbellose, 3. Teil: Insecta. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  51. Kaissling, K.E. (1971). Insect Olfaction. In: Handbook of Sensory Physiology, vol. IV., edited by L.M. Beidler, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.Google Scholar
  52. Leston, D. (1957). Stridulatory mechanisms in Terrestrial species of Hemiptera, Heteroptera. Proc. Zool. Soc. (Lond.), 128: 369–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Linsenmair, E.K. (1968). Anemomenotaktische Orientierung bei Skorpionen (Chelicerata, Scorpiones). Z. vergl. Physiol. 60: 445–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Linsenmair, K.E. (1973). Die Windorientierung laufender Insekten. In: Orientierung der Tiere im Raum, edited by M. Lindauer, Fortschritte Zool. 21: (2/3), 59–79.Google Scholar
  55. Markl, H. (1973). Leistungen des Vibrationssinnes bei wirbellosen Tieren. In: Orientierung der Tiere im Raum, edited by M. Lindauer, Fortschritte Zool. 21: (2/3), 100–120.Google Scholar
  56. Martin, H. and Lindauer, M. (1973). Orientierung im Erdmagnetfeld. In: Orientierung der Tiere im Raum, edited by M. Lindauer, Fortschritte Zool. 21: (2/3), 211–228.Google Scholar
  57. Mazokhin-Porshnyakov, G.A. (1959). Colorimetric study of colour vision in the dragonfly (in russ.). Biofizika, 4: 427–436.Google Scholar
  58. Mazokhin-Porshnyakov, G.A. (1969). Insect vision. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  59. Mazokhin-Porshnyakov, G.A. (1977). Guide-book in the sensory physiology of insects (in russ.). Moscow Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  60. Michelsen, A. (1971). The Physiology of the locust ear: I., II., III. Z. vergl. Physiol. 71: 49–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Michelsen, A. (1974). Hearing in Invertebrates. In: Handbook of sensory physiology, vol. V/l, edited by W.D. Keidel and W.D. Neff, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.Google Scholar
  62. Michelsen, A. and Nocke, H. (1974). Biophysical aspects of sound communication in insects. In: Advances in insect physiology, vol. X., edited by J.E. Treherne, Academic Press, New York, London.Google Scholar
  63. Michieli, S. (1959). Analysis of scototactic (perigrammotactic) reactions in arthropods (in slov., german summary). Razprave SAZU, 5: 237–286.Google Scholar
  64. Murphey, R.K. and Zaretsky, M.D. (1972). Orientation to the calling song by female crickets, Soapsipedus marginatus (Gryllidae). J. exp. Biol. 56: 335–352.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Nekrutenko, Y.P. (1964). The hidden wing-pattern of some paleartic species of Gonepteryx and its taxonomic value. J. Res. Lepid. 3: 65–68.Google Scholar
  66. Neville, A.C. (1975). Biology of the Arthropod Cuticle. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.Google Scholar
  67. Obara, Y. (1970). Studies on the mating behavior of the white cabbage butterfly, Vieris rapae oruoivora Boisduval. III. Near- ultra-violet reflection as the signal of intraspecific communication. Z. vergl. Physiol. 69: 99–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Petrovskaya, E.D. (1969). On frequency selectivity of cercal receptors in the cricket, Gryllus domesticus (russ., engl. summ.). J. evolutionary Biochem. Physiol. 5: 337–338.Google Scholar
  69. Pinet, J.M. and Bernard, J. (1972). Essai interpretation du mode d’action de la vapeur d’eu et de la temperature sur un recepteur d’insecte. Ann. zool. ecol. anim. 4:Google Scholar
  70. Priesner, E. (1973). Artspezifität und Funktion einiger Insekten- pheromone. Fortschritte Zool. 22: 49–135.Google Scholar
  71. Razmjoo, S. and Hamdorf, K. (1976). Visual sensitivity and the variation of total photopigment content in the blowfly photo-receptor membrane. J. comp. Physiol. 105: 279–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Regen, J. (1913). Über die Anlockung des Weibchens von Gryllus campestris L. durch telephonisch übertragene Stridulations- laute der Männchens. Pflügers Archiv f. Physiol. 155: 1–10.Google Scholar
  73. Regen, J. (1923). Über die Orientierung des Weibchens von Liogryllus campestris L. nach dem Stridulationsschall des Männchens. Sitz. Ber. d. Akad. d. Wiss. Matern, naturw. 11. 132: 81–88.Google Scholar
  74. Rockstein, M. (1974). The physiology of Insecta (2. edition). Academic Press, New York, London.Google Scholar
  75. Romoser, W.S. (1973). The Science of Entomology. Macmillan, New York.Google Scholar
  76. Rupprecht, R. (1968). Das Trommeln der Plecopteren. Z. vergl. Physiol. 59: 38–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Rupprecht, R. (1969). Zur Artspezifität der Trommelsignale der Plecopteren (Insecta). Oikos 20: 26–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Rupprecht, R. (1975). Die Kommunikation von Sialis (Megaloptera) durch Vibrationssignale. J. Insect. Physiol. 21: 305–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Sales, G. and Pye, D. (1974). Ultrasonic communication by animals. Chapman and Hall, London.Google Scholar
  80. Schneider, F. (1960). Der experimentelle Nachweis einer magnetischen und elektrischen Orientierung des Maikäfers. Verh. d. Schweiz. Naturforsch. Ges. im Kanton Aargau 132–134.Google Scholar
  81. Schneider, F. (1975 a) Der experimentelle Nachweis magnetischer, elektrischer und anderer ultraoptischer Informationen. Z. ang. Ent. 77: 225–236.Google Scholar
  82. Schneider, F. ( 1975 b). Gibt es sinnesphysiologisch wirksame Gra- vitations-wellen? Ein Problem der ultraoptischen Orientierung. Vierteljahrsschrift der Naturforsch. Gesell, in Zürich, 120: 33–79.Google Scholar
  83. Schwartzkopff, J. (1974). Mechanoreception. In: The physiology of Insecta, 2. edition, edited by M. Rockstein, Academic Press, New York, London.Google Scholar
  84. Schwemer, J., Gogala, M. and Hamdorf, K. (1971). Der UV-Sehfarbstoff der Insekten: Photochemie in vitro und in vivo. Z. vergl. Physiol. 75: 174–188.Google Scholar
  85. Seitz, G. (1969). Untersuchungen am dioptrischen Apparat des Leucht-käferauges. Z. vergl. Physiol. 62: 61–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Stavenga, D.G. (1975). Dark regeneration of invertebrate visual pigments. In: Photoreceptor optics, edited by A.W. Snyder and R. Menzel, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.Google Scholar
  87. Tautz, J. (1977). Reception of medium vibration by thoracal hairs of caterpilars of Barathra brassioae L. (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae). J. comp. Physiol. 118: 13–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Warnke, U. (1973). Physikalisch-physiologische Grundlagen zur luft-elektrisch bedingten Wetterfühligkeit der Honigbiene (Apis mellifica). Diss. Math. Nat. Fak. Univ. Saarland, Saarbrücken.Google Scholar
  89. Warnke, U. (1975). Insekten und Vögel erzeugen elektrische Felder. Umschau, 75: 479.Google Scholar
  90. Warnke, U. (1976). Effects of electric charges on honeybees. Bee World 57: 50–6.Google Scholar
  91. Warnke, U. (1978). Information — transmission by electrical bio- fields. In: Communication of biological systems by means of electromagnetic fields, edited by F. Popp, Urban-Schwarzenberg, in press.Google Scholar
  92. Wehner, R. (1976). Porarized-light navigation by insects. Scientific American 235: (1.) 106–115.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Wigglesworth, V.B. (1972). The principles of insect physiology. 7 th edition. Chapman and Hall Ltd., London.Google Scholar
  94. Wright, R.H. (1975). Why mosquito repellents repel. Scientific American 233: (1.) 104–111.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Gogala
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaYugoslavia
  2. 2.Institute of BiologyUniversity of LjubljanaYugoslavia

Personalised recommendations