Behaviour of flying oriental fruit moth males during approach to sex pheromone sources


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Abstract. The pheromone‐modulated upwind flight tracks of Grapholita molesta (Busck) males were video recorded as they approached a point‐source of pheromone in a wind tunnel. The field of view of the video recording was divided longitudinally into 33 cm sections and the flight behaviour of the males in these sections was measured and compared as they approached from 233 cm to 50 cm downwind of the pheromone source. As the males approached the source, their mean ground speeds decreased. The mean values of their track angles increased with respect to due upwind (0d̀), indicating movement more across the wind. These changes resulted mainly from the males decreasing their air speeds as they progressed up the plume toward the source. They did not change the average direction of their steering (course angle). Thus, the increase in track angles resulted from the males allowing themselves to drift more in the wind as they approached the odour source. The males also increased their average rate of counterturning as they approached the source. The net result of all these behavioural changes was a track that slowed and grew narrower, giving the impression that the males were ‘homing‐in’ on the pheromone source as they approached. Causes of these systematic changes in behaviour are considered with respect to the known systematic changes in pheromone plume structure as the distance to the source decreases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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