Insects are remarkable flyers and capable of navigating through highly cluttered environments. We tracked the head and thorax of bumblebees freely flying in a tunnel containing vertically oriented obstacles to uncover the sensorimotor strategies used for obstacle detection and collision avoidance. Bumblebees presented all the characteristics of active vision during flight by stabilizing their head relative to the external environment and maintained close alignment between their gaze and flightpath. Head stabilization increased motion contrast of nearby features against the background to enable obstacle detection. As bees approached obstacles, they appeared to modulate avoidance responses based on the relative retinal expansion velocity (RREV) of obstacles and their maximum evasion acceleration was linearly related to RREVmax. Finally, bees prevented collisions through rapid roll manoeuvres implemented by their thorax. Overall, the combination of visuo-motor strategies of bumblebees highlights elegant solutions developed by insects for visually guided flight through cluttered environments.

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