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Is Heliothis viriplaca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) a long-distance migrant?

  • X.-Y. Zhao (a1), X.-W. Fu (a1), A. Ali (a1), K. Wilson (a2) and K.-M. Wu (a1)...

Abstract

Heliothis viriplaca (Hüfnagel) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is an important polyphagous pest of beans, cotton, maize, and alfalfa worldwide. H. viriplaca is a long-distance migrant, and if so, what pattern of seasonal migration this species exhibits in northern China remains unknown. In this study, in order to determine the seasonal migration of H. viriplaca in northern China, the combination of searchlight trapping and ovarian dissection was carried out on an isolated small island in the center of the Bohai Strait during 2003–2014. The results confirmed that H. viriplaca undertakes long-distance migration on the prevailing winds of the East Asian monsoon airflows. This species exhibited a regular pattern of seasonal migration across the sea from May to October, but there was considerable yearly and monthly variation in the trapped numbers, with the majority being trapped in summer (67.99 ± 6.54%). The mean period when migration was detectable at the island was 116.5 ± 5.6 days from 2003 to 2014, with the shortest time span of 74 days in 2013 and the longest of 144 days in 2005. Trapped females in May and June showed a relatively higher mating rates and some degree of ovarian development when compared with July, August and September, suggesting the migration of this species is not completely bound by the ‘oogenesis-flight syndrome’. These findings will be helpful to improve the forecasting system and managing strategies of H. viriplaca.

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*Author for correspondence Phone/fax: +86-010-82105551 E-mail: wukongming@caas.cn

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Keywords

Is Heliothis viriplaca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) a long-distance migrant?

  • X.-Y. Zhao (a1), X.-W. Fu (a1), A. Ali (a1), K. Wilson (a2) and K.-M. Wu (a1)...

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