Publication details

Do they see it? Remarks on insect magnetoreception.


VÁCHA Martin

Year of publication 2015
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Ability to perceive geomagnetic field has already been reported on species from broad animal spectra including insects. Two cardinal questions remain to be answered: i) What biological event is sensitive enough to direction of weak magnetic field, and ii) what is the profit of magnetic compass sense for non-migrating animals like fruit fly or cockroach. Recent studies show that chemical reactions driven by energy of light and constituting transient radical pairs might be the key component of chemical sensing. The best candidate for a molecule transforming magnetic signal into signal recognizable by cells seems to be the Cryptochrome (Cry) known from studies on circadian clock. In the talk, results giving evidences in line with or opposing the hypothesis of Cry-linked magnetoreception will be shortly discussed as well as attempts at localization of compass in insect body. Taking together, my contribution will show that behavioral tests performed under controlled laboratory regime suggest that magnetic compass provide the animals with still not fully understood information possibly modifying visually perceived patterns.
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