Impact of Flight Timing and Duration on Fecundity of the Navel Orangeworm (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

Monday, June 1, 2015: 9:51 AM
Alcove (Manhattan Conference Center)
Angela Rovnyak , Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit, USDA - ARS, Ames, IA
Charles Burks , USDA - ARS, Parlier, CA
Thomas Sappington , Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit, USDA - ARS, Ames, IA
In most insect species, flight behaviors and reproduction are intrinsically related. While some species require migratory flight for successful reproduction, trade-offs exist between the costliness of flight and the advantages of dispersal. The navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is an economically important pest of fruits and nuts in California. Effective control requires an understanding of its capacity for spreading between orchards, and many questions about how flight and reproduction are related in this species remain unanswered. This study is designed to test how differences in flight activity immediately before or after mating affects lifetime fecundity of navel orangeworms. On the day of eclosion, female orangeworms are weighed and assigned to one of four mating/flight groups. Moths are placed individually in a glass jar with one or two males and allowed one night to mate. Each mated female (i.e., those observed in copula) is transferred to a jar containing a coffee filter secured with a wire mesh lid. Eggs are collected and counted daily. With the exception of one control group, moths are either affixed to a tether and attached to a flight mill or the moth is tethered and not flown. The flight mill records individual flights as well as flight timing, duration, and distance traveled, which are used to estimate minimum flight capacity and propensity to fly. I will be presenting preliminary data collected from this study and discuss future directions.