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Keywords:

  • Plodia interpunctella;
  • Lepidoptera;
  • Pyralidae;
  • ultrasound;
  • calling;
  • mating;
  • oviposition

Abstract

The daily activity patterns of adult movement, female calling, and mating of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), were examined both in the absence and presence of ultrasound. Moths were exposed to ultrasound from a commercial ultrasonic device (Cix 0600) that produces constant sound patterns, and from a device developed at Kansas State University (KSU device) that produces random sound patterns. Daily activity patterns of adult movement, female calling, and mating followed a similar trend in the absence or presence of ultrasound. Female calling and mating, both in the absence and presence of ultrasound, primarily occurred during scotophase (21.00–07.00 hours). Ultrasound from the two devices significantly reduced the frequency of female calling and mating relative to unexposed moths. Consequently, the number of spermatophores transferred by males to females and egg production were lower in females exposed to ultrasound compared with unexposed females. In the absence of ultrasound, female P. interpunctella mated 2.9 times, resulting in 2.8 spermatophores/female. In the presence of ultrasound from the Cix 0600 device, a female mated 2.1 times and had 1.7 spermatophores. Corresponding values for the KSU device were 1.9 and 1.4, respectively. In the absence of ultrasound, 78% of the matings lasted 30–90 min, whereas in the presence of ultrasound 45–58% of the matings lasted either less than 30 min or more than 90 min. Moths exposed to ultrasound laid 96–130 eggs female−1 compared with 229 eggs female−1 for unexposed moths. Ultrasound did not affect the pre-oviposition period and adult longevity of P. interpunctella.