MAGNETORECEPTION IN FRUIT FLIES, BEES AND ANTS
Journal: Acta Scientifica Malaysia (ASM)
Author: Fatik Baran Mandal, Bikash Chakroborty
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Few insects have the sensory ability to sense and use the earth’s magnetic field. Studies have revealed a wealth of information on the magnetic sense of some insects. However, the mechanism of sensing the earth’s magnetic field, called magnetoreception, is still enigmatic in insects. Magnetoreception studies in fruit flies, bees, and ants are well-documented. Of two hypothesized types of magnetoreception mechanisms in those insects, one is ferromagnetic, and the other is light-dependent. Although experimental results appear to be consistent with the proposed hypothesized mechanisms it is possible that there is still an unknown mechanism that would explain and confirm the experimental results. Thus, theories explaining magnetoreception in insects are yet to be come out. Magnetoreception plays a role in migration, orientation, as well as navigation in insects. Several sensory cues play significant role in migration. Moreover, our understanding of magnetoreception requires information from various branches of science, such as physics, behavioural biology, zoology, and environmental biology. The article attempts to update the account of magnetoreception in the said insects as well as to identify the gaps in our knowledge thereof.