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Throughout the 1950s, methods of experimental analysis had led to a great increase in knowledge of the machinery of insect flight. In this monograph, Dr Pringle brings together the results of his investigations of the mechanics of wing motion, the structure and physiology of flight muscle, aerodynamics, sense organs and nervous co-ordination, and shows how a common structural plan has been perfected during the course of evolution to produce the variety of form and function found in the different insect orders.
Of particular interest is the special type of muscle found only in the higher insects and responsible for the very high wing-beat frequencies of some flies and bees. Many different lines of approach have contributed to the understanding of insect flight, and the subject is of great interest to entomologists, comparative physiologists and biological engineers.
Reissue of a book first published in 1957.
Preface; 1. General anatomy of the wings and of a wing-bearing segment; 2. The form and mechanism of the wing beat; 3. The histology, physiology and biochemistry of flight muscle; 4. Aerodynamics; 5. Nervous and sensory mechanisms; References; Index of insects; Index of subjects.