The evolution of insect flight: Implications for the evolution of the nervous system

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


The Insecta encompasses a prodigiously diverse group as measured at the species, family and ordinal levels, but the nervous system bears evidence of conservatism. The early acquisition of flight must have been a major factor in the diversification of body form. Arguments are presented that predator evasion was a primary factor in the origin of flight and that a conserved set of giant interneurons played a key element in the transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalBrain, Behavior and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes



  • Abdominal cerci
  • Arthropod phylogeny
  • Giant interneurons
  • Insect flight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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