Home / Press Release / Study: High-speed imagery shows the perspective of a wasp [Video]

Study: High-speed imagery shows the perspective of a wasp [Video]

Scientists have released an a high-speed video that shows the world through the eyes of the wasp. The video reconstructs the view from the perspective of sand wasps, according to the study, published in the journal Current Biology.

Ground wasps are known to take a strange path in the air before they fly away from their nest. Scientists call this odd trajectory as “learning flights.” These wasps take “snapshots” of the landscape around the nest, helping them to return with stunning accuracy. Researchers believe that this helps the wasps to memorize the route while leaving the nest.

“It took us over 10 years,” said Professor Jochen Zeil from the Australian National University’s Research School of Biology and co-author of the study.

To find out how they collected the information, Zeil and his team decided to use high-speed cameras to capture the orientation flight of female ground-nesting wasp Cerceris Astralis. Scientists created a 3D digital map of the wasp’s position and path, using a panoramic 3D imaging software. They were also able to anticipate the path of the wasps by creating their virtual environment. Wasps have compound eyes that views the world in low resolution and panoramic vision.

Zeil said that their findings tell them how wonderfully autonomous, flexible and robust wasps are with their ability to know places in the world and shuttle back and forth between them. The study will help in understanding how insects perceive the world around them, leading to a deeper perception of learning flight behavior. The study was supported by several institutions, including Australian Research Council, Defense Science & Technology Organization and the German Science Foundation.

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