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Thermal response in adult codling moth


*Professor S. Dorn, Institute of Plant Sciences, Applied Entomology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland. Tel.: +41 44 632 39 21; fax: +41 44 632 11 71; e-mail:


Abstract.  The thermoregulation behaviour of the adult codling moth, Cydia pomonella, is investigated in the laboratory using temperature gradient experiments. Unmated males and females are tested at dawn when moths typically move to resting sites. Mated females are tested during oviposition over a complete diurnal cycle. Temperature strongly affects microhabitat selection in adult moths. Unmated males and females prefer to rest at the low-temperature ends of temperature gradients between 15 and 32 °C. Relative humidity does not influence the thermal response in unmated females, whereas males show a less distinct temperature selection under high humidity. By contrast to unmated moths, ovipositing females prove to be highly thermophilous (i.e. they deposit the highest proportions of their eggs in the zones of highest temperatures of gradients between 15 and 36 °C). This striking discrepancy in thermal response of females between their premating and oviposition period is likely to reflect an adaptation to different selection pressures from the thermal environment. Unmated moths may benefit from low temperatures by a longer lifespan and crypsis within the tree canopy, whereas the choice of warmer oviposition sites by mated females will favour a faster development of eggs.