Menz MHM, Scacco M, Bürki-Spycher H, Williams HJ, Reynolds DR, Chapman JW, Wikelski M. 2022. moths_windVariables_trajVariables_allAtmLev_2018-2019. Movebank Data Repository.
Each year, trillions of insects make long-range seasonal migrations. These movements are relatively well understood at a population level, but how individual insects achieve them remains elusive. Behavioral responses to conditions en route are little studied, primarily owing to the challenges of tracking individual insects. Using a light aircraft and individual radio tracking, we show that nocturnally migrating death’s-head hawkmoths maintain control of their flight trajectories over long distances. The moths did not just fly with favorable tailwinds; during a given night, they also adjusted for head and crosswinds to precisely hold course. This behavior indicates that the moths use a sophisticated internal compass to maintain seasonally beneficial migratory trajectories independent of wind conditions, illuminating how insects traverse long distances to take advantage of seasonal resources.
animal migration,animal movement,animal tracking,Acherontia atropos,Acherontiini,death’s-head hawkmoth,invertebrates,radio telemetry
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DOIs of related Publications
  title = {moths_windVariables_trajVariables_allAtmLev_2018-2019},
  author = {Menz, MHM and Scacco, M and Bürki-Spycher, H and Williams, HJ and Reynolds, DR and Chapman, JW and Wikelski, M},
  year = {2022},
  URL = {},
  doi = {doi:10.5441/001/1.f4r24r5r/3},
  publisher = {Movebank data repository}
ID  - doi:10.5441/001/1.f4r24r5r/3
T1  - moths_windVariables_trajVariables_allAtmLev_2018-2019
AU  - Menz, Myles H.M.
AU  - Scacco, Martina
AU  - Bürki-Spycher, Hans-Martin
AU  - Williams, Hannah J.
AU  - Reynolds, Don R.
AU  - Chapman, Jason W.
AU  - Wikelski, Martin
Y1  - 2022/08/13
KW  - animal migration
KW  - animal movement
KW  - animal tracking
KW  - Acherontia atropos
KW  - Acherontiini
KW  - death’s-head hawkmoth
KW  - invertebrates
KW  - radio telemetry
KW  - Acherontia atropos
KW  - Acherontiini
PB  - Movebank data repository
UR  -
DO  - doi:10.5441/001/1.f4r24r5r/3
ER  -