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The visual orienting behaviour towards prey in the free-moving mantis was investigated with a high-speed camera. The orienting behaviour consisted of head, prothorax, and abdomen rotations. Coordinated movements of these body parts in the horizontal plane were analysed frame-by-frame. Rotations of these body parts were initiated with no or slight (≤40 ms) differences in timing. The initiation timing of prothorax-abdomen rotation was affected by its initial angle before the onset of orienting. There were positive correlations in amplitude among head-prothorax, prothorax-abdomen, and abdomen rotations. The ratio of these rotations to total gaze rotation was affected by the initial prothorax-abdomen angle before the onset of orienting. Our data suggest that coordinated movements of the head, prothorax, and abdomen during orienting are ballistic events and are pre-determined according to visual and proprioceptive information before the onset of orienting. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Yoshifumi Yamawaki, Kohei Uno, Ryohei Ikeda, Yoshihiro Toh. Coordinated movements of the head and body during orienting behaviour in the praying mantis Tenodera aridifolia. Journal of insect physiology. 2011 Jul;57(7):1010-6

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PMID: 21554886

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