Insect Flight pp 152-171 | Cite as

Direction of Insect Migrations in Relation to the Wind

  • K. Mikkola
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


In recent decades, the views on the mechanics of long-range migrations of insects have diverged into two main lines: (1) French and White (1960), Shaw (1962), Hurst (1963, 1964), and Mikkola and Salmensuu (1965), working on Lepidoptera presumed downwind direction of migrations and analysed their data with the aid of wind trajectories which describe atmospheric tracks of air particles. Rainey (1963) showed that the displacement of locust swarms is predominantly downwind. A general theory was formulated on these lines by Kennedy (1961). (2) Baker (1978), however, has suggested that during migrations insects mainly use compass orientation. Thus, two controversial doctrines have been proposed. Nevertheless, it seems that even an individual species may use different migration and orientation mechanisms under different situations. In addition, regular and definite upwind migrations have been shown to occur in wasps and bumble bees (Mikkola 1978). The intention of this article is to document data on the role of wind as a factor affecting the direction of insect migrations. Examples come from the published and unpublished data gathered by the author in Finland and from the literature.


Wind Direction Spring Migration Flight Direction Desert Locust Upwind Flight 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Mikkola
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of ZoologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinki 10Finland

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