Individual stepping biases from Strength of forelimb lateralization predicts motor errors in an insect

2016-09-14T10:42:10Z (GMT) by Adrian T. A. Bell Jeremy E. Niven
Lateralized behaviours are widespread in both vertebrates and invertebrates, suggesting that lateralization is advantageous. Yet, evidence demonstrating proximate or ultimate advantages remains scarce, particularly in invertebrates or in species with individual-level lateralization. Desert locusts (<i>Schistocerca gregaria</i>) are biased in the forelimb they use to perform targeted reaching across a gap. The forelimb and strength of this bias differed among individuals, indicative of individual-level lateralization. Here we show that strongly biased locusts perform better during gap-crossing, making fewer errors with their preferred forelimb. The number of targeting errors locusts make negatively correlates with the strength of forelimb lateralization. This provides evidence that stronger lateralization confers an advantage in terms of improved motor control in an invertebrate with individual-level lateralization.