oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - The Pterothoracic Musculature of Deropeltis erythrocephala, a cockroach with a wingless female, and the origin of wing movements in insects

Volume 30, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0013-8789



An understanding of the evolution of flight in insects requires a comprehension of its mechanics in the Dictyoptera which, among living insects, probably retain the most unspecialised condition of the flight motor since, with certain minor exceptions, all muscles likely to be involved in moving the wings are also concerned with moving the legs; that is, in Wilson's (1962) terminology, they are bi-functional. Such a system presents a problem both of how central nervous coordination is organised to achieve the two very different actions of walking and flying and also how, in evolutionary terms, this dual pattern could have arisen.

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