Magnetic Compasses in Insects

Andre J. Riveros, Robert B. Srygley

Research output: Chapter in Book/ReportChapter


Using magnetic information for orientation and navigation is widespread in animals. Insects use magnetic information for simple body alignment, homing or during long-distance migrations. Most often, insects use a polarity compass, orienting by the North-South axis of the Earth’s magnetic field. However, recent studies also point to a role for magnetic inclination in insect orientation. Also, magnetic information is coupled with other navigation compasses or cues, such as the sun or landmarks. Here, our current knowledge and future directions on magnetic compasses in insects is broadly reviewed, from the nature of the compass to the diversity of its uses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Second Edition
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128132524
ISBN (Print)9780128132517
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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