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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Tethered and Untethered Flight by Lygus Hesperus and Lygus Lineolaris (Heteroptera: Miridae)

Authors
item Blackmer, Jacquelyn
item Naranjo, Steven
item Williams, Livy

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 9, 2004
Publication Date: October 1, 2004
Citation: Blackmer, J.L., Naranjo, S.E., Williams Iii, L.H. 2004. Tethered and untethered flight by lygus hesperus and lygus lineolaris (heteroptera: miridae). Environmental Entomology 33(5): 1389-1400

Interpretive Summary: We compared the flight behavior of the western tarnished (WTPB) and tarnished plant bugs (TPB) relative to age, sex, and time of day using flight mills and a vertical flight chamber. Both species and sexes initiated flights throughout the day, and flight mill assays recorded flights throughout the night. For both species and flight bioassay systems, most flights were less than 5 min in duration, with longer flights occurring from 1 to 3 wk of age. Number of flights and flight duration were influenced by age and sex in flight mill bioassays and by sex for flight chamber assays. Species differences were less apparent, but tethered TPB had more sustained flights that were of longer cumulative duration compared with WTPB. The longest flights were obtained with flight mills and were 17 to 18 times longer than the longest flight (22 min) in the flight chamber. Determination of flight periodicity, throughout the day and night, was only possible for flight mill assays, and females exhibited more distinct periodicities for sustained flights than males. For WTPB females, sustained flights followed a diurnal to crepuscular periodicity, while sustained flights by TPB females were nocturnal. No significant correlations were found between egg load and any of the flight parameters when grouped by species, but there was a positive correlation between the number of sperm sacks and several of the flight parameters for female WTPB. In the vertical flight chamber, takeoffs occurred at low light levels, and were always higher for TPB than WTPB. Rates of climb toward the skylight cue were about 50 cm/s indicating a capacity for strong, self-directed flight by both species.

Technical Abstract: We compared the flight behavior of Lygus hesperus Knight and Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois) relative to age, sex, and time of day using tethered (flight mills) and untethered flight (vertical flight chamber) assays. Both species and sexes initiated flights throughout the day, and flight mill assays recorded flights throughout the night. For both species and flight systems, most flights were less than 5 min in duration, with longer flights occurring from 1 to 3 wk of age. Number of flights and flight duration were influenced by age and sex for tethered individuals and by sex for untethered individuals. Species differences were less apparent, but tethered L. lineolaris had more sustained flights that were of longer cumulative duration compared with L. hesperus. The longest flights were obtained with flight mills and were 17 to 18 times longer than the longest flight (22 min) in the flight chamber. Determination of flight periodicity, throughout the day and night, was only possible for tethered insects, and females exhibited more distinct periodicities for sustained flights than males. For L. hesperus females, sustained flights followed a diurnal to crepuscular periodicity, while sustained flights by L. lineolaris females were nocturnal. No significant correlations were found between egg load and any of the flight parameters when grouped by species, but there was a positive correlation between the number of sperm sacks and several of the flight parameters for female L. hesperus. In the vertical flight chamber, takeoffs occurred at low light levels, and were always higher for L. lineolaris than L. hesperus. Rates of climb toward the skylight cue were about 50 cm/s indicating a capacity for strong, self-directed flight by both species.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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