Canadian Forest Service Publications

Influence of wing loading on Colorado potato beetle flight. 2004. MacQuarrie, C.J.K.; Boiteau, G. The Canadian Entomologist 136:109-117.

Year: 2004

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35655

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Flight of overwintered and summer population Colorado potato beetles, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), with a range of wing loadings was measured following exposure to different quality diets. Beetles fed a diet of insect-resistant foliage expressing Bacillus thuringiensis tenebrioniz toxins, beetles that did not feed but consumed water, and those that were starved without access to water exhibited a lower range of wing loadings than those fed conventional foliage, but there was no corresponding increase in flight frequency. Exposing potato beetles to poor food or no food resulted in a wing-loading range of 50–140 mg/cm2 compared with a range of 80–200 mg/cm2 for beetles fed conventional foliage. No flight was observed when wing loadings were less than 80 mg/cm2 of wing surface, presumably because of other physiological processes associated with poor nutrition and not because of wing loading per se. Overwintered and summer population beetles fed a diet of conventional potato foliage did not take off when wing loading exceeded 150 mg/cm2 of supporting wing surface. Similar trade-offs between flight capacity and consumption of large meals may exist for other insects.