"Fire-loving" (pyrophilous) beetles depend on forest fires for their reproduction. Such insects approach ongoing fires and invade the burnt area immediately. Two genera of pyrophilous jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and one species of the genus Acanthocnemus (Acanthocnemidae) show a highly pyrophilous behavior. For the long-range navigation towards a fire as well as for the short-range orientation on a freshly burnt area these beetles have special sensors for smoke and infrared (IR) radiation. In the best studied beetle, Melanophila acuminata, infrared receptors and their associated sensory neurons are derived from mechanoreceptors. Unlike other mechanosensory neurons, IR sensitive neurons directly send their information to be processed centrally (e.g., by the brain) rather than locally in their respective ganglia of origin. It is suggested that smoke-derived odors and IR information converge on descending brain neurons which, in turn, control and direct flight toward the forest fire.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Navigation, Journal of the Institute of Navigation|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering