Comparative Behavioral Physiology of Invertebrates Back

Insects exhibit a variety of behaviors such as simple reflexes and innate programmed behaviors. Behaviors can also be modified by learning and memory in contexts of classical and operant conditioning making use of sensory clues. The most complex behaviors are observed in intraspecific interactions such as courtship and social behaviors, that have evolved in some insect orders. Since sensory stimuli are involved in most behaviors and these are controlled by the nervous system, we give and overview over important sensory organs and the structure and function of insect brains in relation to behavior. Particular emphasis is put on the comparative presentation of the data to show the diversity of designs that have evolved.

Foundations of insect neuroscience

Insect sensory system

Insect nervous system

Insect behavior

Sensory processing and its involvement in insect behhvior

   ■ Methods for investigating neurons

Current developments

   ■ Insect-machine hybrid system

   ■ Reconstructing an insect brain using a next-generation super computer

   ■ External control of insect behavior and neurorehabilitation

Comparative description of various behaviors, receptor organs and structure and function of central nervous systems of invertebrates.

Figure: Schema of the brain of the silkmoth, Bombyx mori. The silkmoth brain, as all insect brains, consists of protocerebrum, deutocerebrum and tritocerebrum. The suboesophageal ganglion is closely apposed the brain and fused to it. The tissue inside the brain (neuropile) consists of processes of the neurons, whose somata are located on the outer surfaces. The neuropil is the locus of neural information processing and can be subdivded in different areas. The optic lobes, mushroom bodies, lateral protocerebrum, and central body in the protocerebrum and the antennal lobe in the deutocerebrum are shown as representative neuropiles in the silkmoth brain. Scale bar:0.5 mm.

Table: Comparative table of representative invertebrate behaviors, sensory organs, and structure and function of the central nervous system.
Silkmoth Honeybee Cricket Blowfly Cockroach Crayfish Fruitfly Desert locust
Characteristic behavior - - - - -
Sensory receptor organ - - - - - - -
Motor Output System

Whole brain - * -
optic lobe - *
mushroom body - - * -
lateral proto-
- - - -
central body - * -
antennal lobe - - *
suboesophageal ganglion - - - - - -
thoracic ganglion - - - - - - - -
abdominal ganglion - - - - - - - -
related information - - - - - - -
Click to view descriptions.

*:Link to Flybrain
△:Under construction.


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