Flight ability of gypsy moth females (Lymantria dispar L.) (Lep., Lymantriidae): a behavioural feature characterizing moths from Asia?


University of Hohenheim, Institute of Phytomedicine, D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany


Abstract: The flight ability of gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) females from Asia and Europe has been reported in the literature as extremely controversial. This contribution presents a short review about earlier statements on flight behaviour of gypsy moth females and compares flight capability of females from China, Romania and Germany, as well as that of hybrids of the Asian and the European strains. Mated and unmated female gypsy moths from China and Germany/Baden-Württemberg were capable of strong, directed flight, whereas moths from Romania and Germany/Rhineland-Palatinate showed no flight activity. Flight behaviour was not affected by differences in female weight as a result of rearing the larvae on more or less suitable kinds of host plants. In addition, hybrids of gypsy moths from flying and nonflying populations resembled more the behaviour of the nonflying parent.