Recent developments in the study of insect flight

Tyson L. Hedrick, Stacey A. Combes, Laura A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Here we review recent contributions to the study of insect flight, in particular those brought about by advances in experimental techniques. We focus particularly on the following areas: wing flexibility and deformation, the physiology and biophysics of asynchronous insect flight muscle, the aerodynamics of flight, and stability and maneuverability. This recent research reveals the importance of wing flexibility to insect flight, provides a detailed model of how asynchronous flight muscle functions and how it may have evolved, synthesizes many recent studies of insect flight aerodynamics into a broad-reaching summary of unsteady flight aerodynamics, and highlights new insights into the sources of flight stability in insects. The focus on experimental techniques and recently developed apparatus shows how these advancements have occurred and point the way towards future experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-943
Number of pages19
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 24 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomechanics
  • Biophysics
  • Flight
  • Insecta
  • Locomotion
  • Morphology
  • Physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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