Acta Entomologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (8): 1068-1074.doi: 10.16380/j.kcxb.2022.08.015

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Development and function of halteres in insects 

DONG Wei#,*, WU Wen-Jun#, ZHANG Xu-Bo*   

  1.  (Institute of Applied Biology, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, China)
  • Online:2022-08-20 Published:2022-09-16

Abstract:  The halteres in dipteran insects evolved from the hindwings and play an important role in flight. The sensilla at the base of halteres detect the inertial force and provide feedback to motor neurons that subsequently balance body during flight. The haltere of insects is developed from imaginal disc and regulated by the HOX gene (Ultrabithorax, Ubx). Mature haltere is composed of two layers of epithelial cells. The bulb is filled with vacuolar cells, while the base possesses various sensilla. Interestingly, the halteres controlled by independent muscles move antiphase relative to ipsilateral wing. However, the winghaltere coordination is essential for departure and maintaining balance. Recently, the navigation principles of halteres have been increasingly applied in bionics, and navigation devices of aircrafts have been developed based on the structure and functions of halters of flies. In this article we reviewed the progress in the research on the development, morphological structure, function and bionics application of halteres with the goal of providing a theoretical basis for further understanding the developmental meachanisms and biological functions of halteres in insects.

Key words:  Insects, haltere, Ubx, developmrnt, sensilla, locomotory mechanism