Carbohydrate and fatty acid titres during flight of the migrant noctuid moth, Anticarsia gemmatalis Hübner

Leng Hong Teo, Howard W. Fescemyer, J. P. Woodring, Abner M. Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Haemolymph concentrations of total carbohydrate and fatty acids were determined in velvetbean caterpillar (Anticarsia gemmatalis Hübner, Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) adult females throughout a 4-hr period of tethered flight. Total carbohydrate concentration decreased from approx. 30 to 10 μg/μl during the first 45 min of flight. Total fatty acid concentration increased from approx. 20 to 40 μg/μl during the first 60 min of flight and then declined to and stabilized at preflight levels. The decrease in wet weight (from approx. 97 to 80 mg/moth) during flight was probably due to defecation since no change in dry weight or haemolymph volume occurred. After 4 hr of flight, no apparent change in whole body lipid content (approx. 12 mg/moth) was observed but the much smaller carbohydrate content was reduced approx. 80% (from approx. 0.6 to 0.1 mg/moth). Approximately equal amounts (approx. 360-550 μg) of carbohydrate and lipid were removed from the haemolymph during 4 hr of flight. Changes in the haemolymph concentrations of palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids correspond to the changes in total fatty acid concentration of the haemolymph, indicating that these are the major components of the lipid mobilized and utilized during flight of A. gemmatalis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-781
Number of pages5
JournalInsect Biochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1987


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