How the hunting Robber fly robs the victims from the air

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Robber flies use the same interception strategies as guided missiles and falcons to steal victims from the air, but how do they intercept the aerial quarry if the view is obstructed by leaves and clutter? Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and the University of Minnesota in the United States Experimental Biology Journal Holcocephala fusca Robber flies combine two strategies, one that allows them to swive around obstacles and the usual strategy of intercepting prey.

Many flies are happy to land on fruits and carrion, but the Robber fly (Robber fly) is engaged in deadly combat. Robber flies catch small insects on their wings and eat whatever they can.Aerobatic insects keep the same when visibility is clear Line of sight— Adjust when the target twists and bends — Intercepts the quarry. And they do so at an extraordinary rate, using a brain about the size of a grain of sand. Still, stubborn insects often have to catch their prey in a complex and cluttered environment. “Going to the target and avoiding bumps along the way is a task we want to accomplish in our daily lives,” says Samuel Fabian of Imperial College London. So how does the Robber fly deal with the turmoil? Fabian, Trevor Wardill, and Paloma Gonzalez-Bellido of the University of Minnesota in the United States have decided to find out how predatory robbery insects adjust their interception strategies to deal with distraction. They have announced the discovery that insects combine the two strategies. One is a strategy that allows you to turn around obstacles, and the other is a traditional interception strategy that you use when you have a clear view. Experimental Biology Journal..

“I used Holcocephala fusca because I could predict the intercept path,” said Mary Sumner of the University of Minnesota in York County, Pennsylvania, USA, for four weeks, hunting small flies and shooting in 3D. Beads pulled along a transparent fishing line. “Field experiments are a pleasure because we can take the most natural actions from free animals,” says Fabian. This meant that the insects were free to miss the shot when the camera was ready to rotate. Fortunately, they were also keen to intercept moving beads. “If something is small enough, they generally seem to assume it’s food,” says Fabian. And when he and Sumner analyzed the insects that interfered with the beads, the animals maintained the same line of sight to the target through their approach to catch it well. “The flies didn’t really know that it wasn’t a real prey, even if they were very close,” Fabian laughed.

However, as Fabian and Sumner approach the moving beads, the flies take evasive action and become wider when the wide (5 cm) or narrow (2.5 cm) bars of black acrylic partially obscure the flies’ view. The band obscured their view for over 0.1 seconds. Still, when the bar blocked its line of sight for a shorter period of time, the flies turned dramatically until they passed it, then turned and resumed the interception course. In other cases, the insects moved away from the bar as they approached the beads, even though the beads were visible all the time and did not need to be swiveled when the flies were not obstructed by the sight of the visually impaired. I went. ..

So how did Fly control the approach? Fabian, Gonzalez-Bellido, and Wardill compared the flight path of the Robber fly with the path in the absence of obstacles and found that flies used a very simple obstacle avoidance strategy. “The faster an obstacle grows in the field of view, the farther it is from the obstacle,” explains Fabian. However, as the flies pass through the obstacle and begin to shrink, they are pulled back towards the obstacle. The result was a turn-turning flight path recorded by Fabian and Sumner, even if the fly’s view was unobstructed.

Flies are using obstacle avoidance strategies and traditional combinations at the same time Interception The path used when visibility is not obstructed. This provides a simple hybrid approach that allows you to intercept prey while avoiding distractions and obstacles in the path. “Even when we focus on the target, we pay attention to our surroundings,” says Fabian, who wants to inspire robot designs that use simpler, less computationally-intensive solutions for complex navigation problems. Concludes.

Robber fly’s amazing hunting ability

For more information:
Fabian, STet al, Avoid Obstacles While Intercepting Moving Targets: Miniature Fly Solution, J.Exp. Biol (2022) DOI: 10.1242 / jeb.243568

Quote: How the hunting Robber fly robs victims from the air (February 15, 2022) from https: // February 15, 2022 Got a day

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How the hunting Robber fly robs the victims from the air

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