PerspectiveORGANISMAL BIOLOGY

Visual tracking in the dead of night

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Science  12 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6240, pp. 1212-1213
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab2185

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Summary

Nocturnal insects live in a dim world. They have brains smaller than a grain of rice, and eyes that are even smaller. Yet, they have remarkable visual abilities, many of which seem to defy what is physically possible (1). On page 1245 of this issue, Sponberg et al. reveal how one species, the hawkmoth Manduca sexta, is able to accurately track wind-tossed flowers in near darkness and remain stationary while hovering and feeding (2).