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    In the laboratory, the timing of both preflight and flight behaviors of the Asian strain of female gypsy moths, Lymantria dispar L., was regulated primarily by light intensity. The shortest times to initiation of wing fanning and flight occurred at 0.1 lux, the lowest light intensity evaluated. A gradual decrease in light intensity, compared with an instantaneous decrease, prolonged time to flight. The highest percentage of female flight was observed at 0.1 lux. A higher percentage of females initiated flight when exposed to lower light intensities after the onset of normal scotophase rather than before scotophase. Virgin females were less likely to fly than mated females. Females fanned their wings longer at lower temperatures and when they were capable of only a gliding flight. Females that were flight-tested the same day they emerged tended to take longer to initiate flight than those 1-2 d old. At 0.1 lux, the majority of the Asian females, less than 2% of the F1 hybrid females, and none of the North American females exhibited strong, directed flight. Over half of the F1 hybrids glided for a few meters while flapping their wings, whereas none of the North American females exhibited even this level of flight. Thus, female flight capability will be reduced when flighted and nonflighted forms initially hybridize.

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    Keena, M.A. 2001. Female Flight Propensity and Capability in Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) from Russia, North America, and Their Reciprocal F1 Hybrids. Environmental Entomology. 30(2): 380-387.


    Lymantria dispar, gypsy moth, female flight propensity, hybrids, migration, rhythm, Asian gypsy moth

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