Saturday, July 20, 2024

Insects and light

Another report focused on insects and, in particular, why they are attracted to light – something that would concern night-time tennis players, no doubt. Researchers at the Imperial College London have determined that insects are more likely trapped by the light rather than attracted. Using a high-speed camera, they observed that insects tended to fly with their back to the light. Insects flying above the light would invert and crash into the light. Insects under the light would begin a climb as they passed, which ultimately led to a loss of airspeed and a stall. This “dorsal light response” also caused insects to circle the light. This reflex, which also exists in some fish, is a way to work out which way is up. Even at night the brightest part of the visual field is usually up.

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