Migratory take-off behaviour of the Mongolian grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Wang, Y-P., Tu, X-B., Lin, P-J., Li, S., Xu, C-M., Wang, X-Q., Reynolds, D. R., Chapman, J. W., Zhang, Z-H. and Hu, G. 2020. Migratory take-off behaviour of the Mongolian grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus. Insects. 11 (7), p. 46. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11070416

AuthorsWang, Y-P., Tu, X-B., Lin, P-J., Li, S., Xu, C-M., Wang, X-Q., Reynolds, D. R., Chapman, J. W., Zhang, Z-H. and Hu, G.
Abstract

Oedaleus asiaticus is one of the dominant species of grasshoppers in the rangeland on the Mongolian plateau, and a serious pest, but its migratory behavior is poorly known. We investigated the take-off behavior of migratory O. asiaticus in field cages in the inner Mongolia region of northern China. The species shows a degree of density-dependent phase polyphenism, with high-density swarming populations characterized by a brown morph, while low-density populations are more likely to comprise a green morph. We found that only 12.4% of brown morphs engaged in migratory take-off, and 2.0% of green morphs. Migratory grasshoppers took off at dusk, especially in the half hour after sunset (20:00–20:30 h). Most emigrating individuals did not have any food in their digestive tract, and the females were mated but with immature ovaries. In contrast, non-emigrating individuals rarely had empty digestive tracts, and most females were mated and sexually mature. Therefore, it seems clear that individuals prepare for migration in the afternoon by eliminating food residue from the body, and migration is largely restricted to sexually immature stages (at least in females). Furthermore, it was found that weather conditions (particularly temperature and wind speed at 15:00 h) in the afternoon had a significant effect on take-off that evening, with O. asiaticus preferring to take off in warm, dry and calm weather. The findings of this study will contribute to a reliable basis for forecasting migratory movements of this pest.

KeywordsOedaleus asiaticus; Take off; Insect migration; Weather conditions; Inner Mongolia
Year of Publication2020
JournalInsects
Journal citation11 (7), p. 46
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11070416
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online04 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted30 Jun 2020
PublisherMDPI
ISSN2075-4450

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