Document Detail

The hind wing of the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria Forskål). I. Functional morphology and mode of operation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10976029     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Detailed morphological investigation, mechanical testing and high-speed cinematography and stroboscopic examination of desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria, in flight show that their hind wings are adapted to deform cyclically and automatically through the wing stroke and that the deformations are subtly dependent on the wings' structure: their shape, venation and vein design and the local properties of the membrane. The insects predominantly fly fast forwards, generating most force on the downstroke, and the hind wings generate extra lift by peeling apart at the beginning of the downstroke and by developing a cambered section during the stroke's translation phase through the 'umbrella effect' - an automatic consequence of the active extension of the wings' expanded posterior fan. Bending experiments indicate that most of the hind wing is more rigid to forces from below than from above and demonstrate that the membrane acts as a stressed skin to stiffen the structure.
R J Wootton; K E Evans; R Herbert; C W Smith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  203     ISSN:  0022-0949     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2000 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-12-19     Completed Date:  2000-12-19     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2921-31     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, Hatherly Laboratories, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter EX4 4PS, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Flight, Animal
Grasshoppers / anatomy & histology*,  physiology*
Wing / anatomy & histology*,  physiology*

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