temperature sensitive? -Reply

Pierre Zagatti zagatti at versailles.inra.fr
Tue Jun 16 04:38:51 EDT 1998

Nick Greatorex-Davies wrote:
> In reponse to Rebecca Jolly's query on this interesting subject Roger
> Kendrick wrote:
> As would be expected, temperature thresholds for flight activity also
> vary within species, and probably also geographically within species
> (the same species will fly at lower temperatures in the cooler parts of its
> range) (In the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme we "allow" recorders in
> northern Britain to record butterflies on transect walks at slightly lower
> temperatures than in the south as butterflies of the same species are
> active at lower temperatures in the north than in the south). An
> interesting paper on this subject was published some time ago:
> Taylor, L.R. (1963) Analysis of the effect of temperature on insects in
> flight, Journal of Animal Ecology, 32, 99-117.
> The paper includes data on the flight threshold temperatures for two
> noctuid moths common in Britain; Agrochola lychnidis (Beaded Chestnut)
> and Amphipyra tragopoginis (Mouse Moth). The lower threshold for A.
> lychnidis was shown to be 9 deg. C and for A. trag. 10.5 deg.C.
> I would be very interested if anyone knows of other more recent
> literature on this subject!

In addition to Dale Hoyt's references, you may have a look on a
study on the winter moth, Operophtera brumata.
These winter-flying insects show both upper and lower temperature
thresholds to take flight.

Roelofs W.L.,Hill A.S.,Linn C.E.,Meinwald J.,Jain S.C.,Herbert H.J.,   
Smith R.F., 1982. Sex pheromone of the winter moth, a Geometrid with 
unusually low temperature precopulatory responses.
Science. 217: 657-659.

There were several works that used thermocouples implanted in the thorax
to show that intensive wing fanning before taking off may raise the
body temperature to 25 or 30 °C.

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e-mail zagatti at versailles.inra.fr

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