Dipteran flight motor pattern: invariabilities and changes during postlarval development

J Neurobiol. 1981 Jan;12(1):1-14. doi: 10.1002/neu.480120102.


For Calliphora the wingbeat frequency and the underlying motoneuronal activity were recorded during adult life. Wingbeat frequency increases during the ten days following last molt. The activity of motoneurons serving four selected flight muscles (nonfibrillar and fibrillar ones) also increases with age. The motoneuronal activity of young and old flies was analyzed statistically (serial and cross-correlograms, latency and phase histograms). In addition, several wing manipulations were carried out to evaluate the significance of sensory feedback on pattern generation during maturation. These ontogenetic studies suggest a centrally generated motor pattern that (1) is essentially complete with the molt to adulthood, (2) shows a progressive increase in intrinsic activity, and (3) is modulated by sensory feedback from the wing region by the same amount irrespective of age. Similarities in the postlarval development of the flight pattern of neurogenic and myogenic flyers are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Diptera / growth & development
  • Diptera / physiology*
  • Flight, Animal*
  • Ganglia / physiology*
  • Metamorphosis, Biological
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Muscles / physiology