Entomology, Department of


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Published in Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 87(5): 641-647 (1994) Copyright 1994 Entomological Society of America Used by permission


Flight behavior, activity, and seasonal variation in capture of Rhynchophorus cruentatus (F.) were investigated. Response of R. cruentatus to traps baited with palm tissue was assessed at four locations in Florida over a 12- to 18-mo period. Capture of weevils varied by location and through time. Average temperature, the difference between high and low temperature, and total rainfall during trapping periods were not correlated with seasonal trends, but capture peaked in the spring following rise in temperature. Preflight behaviors of R. cruentatus were consistent for all weevils tested. Weevils preparing for flight first wipe their rostrum with the prothoracic legs, pump their pygidium, lift their elytra, and extend their wings. Just before flight, weevils raise the mesothoracic legs above the pronotum. Weevils preparing for a subsequent flight frequently skip the first two preflight events. Studies of flight activity in the laboratory indicate that time of day and feeding status of weevils had no effect on flight. However, flight activity increased with temperature and reduced relative humidity.

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