The capacity of the flight system to recover from ablation of the tegulae was studied in immature adult Locusta migratoria and compared with recovery in mature adults. We ablated the hindwing tegulae or all tegulae in adult locusts either 1 day after the imaginal moult (immature locusts) or 2 weeks after the imaginal moult (mature locusts). We monitored recovery throughout the recovery period by using a stroboscope to measure the wingbeat frequency of tethered locusts. In addition, we measured other parameters of the flight motor pattern using electromyographic electrodes implanted into recovered locusts. Both methods of monitoring recovery yielded the same results. There was no reduction, during adult maturation, in the capacity of the locust flight system to recover from the loss of these proprioceptors. Plasticity of the locust flight system was therefore maintained in the mature adult locust. This suggests that the flight system is not fixed and simply implemented when the locust reaches adulthood, but that the circuitry can be remodelled throughout the animal's life to produce behaviour adapted to the needs and constraints of the individual.

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