News Round-Up

Hoverflies navigate using sun and body clock

Source: exeter.ac.uk

Hoverflies use a combination of the sun and their body clock to navigate when they fly south for the winter, new research shows.

The insects keep the sun on their left in the morning, then gradually adjust to maintain a southward route as the day goes on.

Pied and yellow-clubbed hoverflies – which are important pollinators – spend their summers in locations such as the UK and Scandinavia, then fly to the Mediterranean and North Africa in autumn.

These migrations are known to happen on sunny days, but the new study – led by the University of Exeter – is the first proof of a “time-compensated sun compass” in hoverflies. MORE