Moth in flight (c) J Dyhr
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Footage reveals how insects hover

18 April 2013 Last updated at 01:40 BST

Super-slow motion footage of a moth in flight has revealed how the insects use their bodies to hover.

The moth moves its abdomen - pivoting it up and down - to fine-tune the forces that keep the insect airborne.

The researchers who carried out this study, from the University of Washington, are examining insect flight in order to "distil the biological principles of flight control".

This could help them to accurately engineer flying robots that use these same principles.

In this clip a moth can be seen moving its body up and down as it flies in a miniature simulator used in the experiment. This adjusts the air flow to its wings.

The findings are published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Footage courtesy of Jonathan Dyhr, University of Washington