Quantifying interspecific variation in dispersal ability of noctuid moths using an advanced tethered flight technique

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Jones, H. B. C., Lim, K. S., Bell, J. R., Hill, J. K. and Chapman, J. W. 2016. Quantifying interspecific variation in dispersal ability of noctuid moths using an advanced tethered flight technique. Ecology and Evolution. 6 (1), pp. 181-190. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1861

AuthorsJones, H. B. C., Lim, K. S., Bell, J. R., Hill, J. K. and Chapman, J. W.
Abstract

Dispersal plays a crucial role in many aspects of species' life histories, yet is often difficult to measure directly. This is particularly true for many insects, especially nocturnal species (e.g. moths) that cannot be easily observed under natural field conditions. Consequently, over the past five decades, laboratory tethered flight techniques have been developed as a means of measuring insect flight duration and speed. However, these previous designs have tended to focus on single species (typically migrant pests), and here we describe an improved apparatus that allows the study of flight ability in a wide range of insect body sizes and types. Obtaining dispersal information from a range of species is crucial for understanding insect population dynamics and range shifts. Our new laboratory tethered flight apparatus automatically records flight duration, speed, and distance of individual insects. The rotational tethered flight mill has very low friction and the arm to which flying insects are attached is extremely lightweight while remaining rigid and strong, permitting both small and large insects to be studied. The apparatus is compact and thus allows many individuals to be studied simultaneously under controlled laboratory conditions. We demonstrate the performance of the apparatus by using the mills to assess the flight capability of 24 species of British noctuid moths, ranging in size from 12-27 mm forewing length (similar to 40-660 mg body mass). We validate the new technique by comparing our tethered flight data with existing information on dispersal ability of noctuids from the published literature and expert opinion. Values for tethered flight variables were in agreement with existing knowledge of dispersal ability in these species, supporting the use of this method to quantify dispersal in insects. Importantly, this new technology opens up the potential to investigate genetic and environmental factors affecting insect dispersal among a wide range of species.

KeywordsEcology; Evolutionary Biology
Year of Publication2016
JournalEcology and Evolution
Journal citation6 (1), pp. 181-190
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1861
PubMed ID26811783
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Dec 2015
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Oct 2015
PublisherWiley
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN2045-7758

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/8v231/quantifying-interspecific-variation-in-dispersal-ability-of-noctuid-moths-using-an-advanced-tethered-flight-technique

35 total views
51 total downloads
0 views this month
1 downloads this month
Download files as zip