1. The work loop approach was used to measure mechanical power output from an asynchronous flight muscle, the dorso-ventral muscle of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Measurements were made at the optimum muscle length for work output at 30 °C and at a muscle temperature (40 °C) and oscillatory frequency (141­173 Hz, depending on the size of the animal) characteristic of free flight. Oscillatory strain amplitude was adjusted to maximize power output. 2. There was much preparation-to-preparation variability in power output. Power output in the muscles with the highest values was slightly greater than 100 W kg-1. It is argued that there are many experimental factors which might reduce measured power output below that in the living bumblebee, and no obvious factors which might lead to overestimates of muscle power. The conclusion is that flight muscle in the intact bumblebee can produce at least 100 W kg-1.

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