Visual Control in Free Flight
Experiments at the torque compensator inevitably lead to the question of how the behavior observed relates to free flight. Detailed accounts of visually guided free flight behavior have been provided in a series of most elegant papers by Land and Collett (1974; Collett and Land, 1975 a, b; 1978; Collett 1980 a, b) for the muscid fly Fannia cannicularis and in particular for hoverflies. Flies display an elaborate repertoire of visually controlled flight maneuvres of which very little has been detected as yet with Drosophila and Musca in stationary flight. Since in free flight studies data are obtained through frame by frame analysis of motion pictures, normally only short episodes are recorded, showing the dependence of the flight trajectory upon certain visual stimuli such as, for instance, another fly, a stationary object among other objects, or a large rotating drum with vertical stripes surrounding the fly.
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