Journal or Book Title
Journal of Insect Science
Beet webworm, Loxostege sticticalis (L.) is a facultative long-distance migratory insect pest in many regions between 36° and 55° N latitude. The outbreaks of larvae are closely related to temperatures encountered by the immigrant adult. But mechanisms linking population outbreaks and migration are not well understood. We investigated the effect of exposing adults to constant temperatures from 14 to 34°C on mating, oviposition, and longevity. Our results showed that both mating percentage and frequency were highest at 22–26°C and decreased at temperatures outside this optimal range. Time of night when mating began was delayed at higher temperatures, while mating duration progressively decreased with increasing temperature. Both preoviposition period (POP) and oviposition period decreased linearly with increasing temperature. Peak daily and lifetime fecundity were highest at 22–26°C and declined at temperatures outside this range, suggesting that 22–26°C is the optimal thermal range for oviposition. Adult longevity was negatively correlated with temperature. Males lived longer than females at lower temperatures, but females lived longer than males in the 30–34°C treatments. Together, our findings suggest that reproduction occurs when the prevailing temperature is around 22–26°C, and that migratory flight is favored outside this range via increases in POP and proportion of virgins. We predict that larval damage or outbreaks of L. sticticalis will occur only in areas where the prevailing temperature is around 22–26°C, which provides a key basis for the prediction of population outbreaks in areas of immigration.
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
Cheng, Yunxia; Wang, Kai; Sappington, Thomas W.; Luo, Lizhi; and Jiang, Xingfu, "Response of Reproductive Traits and Longevity of Beet Webworm to Temperature, and Implications for Migration" (2015). Entomology Publications. 478.