Random movement pattern of fed and unfed adult Colorado potato beetles in bare-ground habitat

Authors

  • Lian-You Gui,

    1. Engineering Research Center of Wetland Agriculture in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River of Ministry of Education, College of Agriculture, Yangtze University, Hubei 434025, China
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  • Gilles Boiteau,

    Corresponding author
    1. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Potato Research Centre, 850 Lincoln Road, PO Box 20280, Fredericton, E3B 4Z7 Canada
      Gilles Boiteau. Tel.: +1 506 452 4878; fax: +1 506 452 3316; e-mail: gilles.boiteau@agr.gc.ca
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  • Bruce G. Colpitts,

    1. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Brunswick, 15 Dineen Drive, Fredericton, E3B 5A3, Canada
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  • Pamela MacKinley,

    1. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Potato Research Centre, 850 Lincoln Road, PO Box 20280, Fredericton, E3B 4Z7 Canada
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  • Peter C. McCarthy

    1. Natural Resources Canada, Atlantic Forestry Centre, PO Box 4000, Fredericton, E3B 5P7, Canada
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Gilles Boiteau. Tel.: +1 506 452 4878; fax: +1 506 452 3316; e-mail: gilles.boiteau@agr.gc.ca

Abstract

  • 1Although the successful management of the Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) depends on the prevention of its dispersal, its walking pattern in the landscape remains poorly understood. In the present study, post-diapause, early summer, late summer and colony adult beetles, both fed and unfed before release, were tracked with a harmonic radar to establish their walking movement pattern in a bare-ground field.
  • 2The random walk model successfully described the dispersal of all beetle types, whether fed or unfed.
  • 3The diverse life history of this species was manifested by an increased distance travelled and deviations of individual paths from the random model. Starved post-diapause beetles travelled furthest and individual paths deviating from random were both local and directed, probably aiming to maximize opportunities for host colonization. Starved early summer beetles also travelled further than fed beetles but relied more on random movement to disperse in the habitat. Starving had little impact on the distance travelled or the path deviations of late summer beetles that are searching for overwintering site rather than hosts.
  • 4The increased displacement of starving beetles over fed beetles corresponded with an increased walking step and index of straightness.
  • 5The impact of starvation on travel distance was greater than expected from laboratory tests.
  • 6In conclusion, the results obtained in the present study suggest a random walking pattern to search arable land until host volatile or visual impulses trigger a more directed walk or flight.

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