Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 355–363 | Cite as

Humidity-invoked upwind orientation of shore insects (Bambidion obtusidens, coleoptera: Carabidae)

  • W. G. Evans


Because insects cannot rely solely on kinetic responses to locate upwind humidity resources, an alternative mechanism involving the perception of windborne humidity fluctuations was investigated. In a wind tunnel, upwind responses of adult shore insects (Bembidion obtusidens Fall, Carabidae, Coleoptera) were invoked by pulsed (1.25-Hz) increases (1.7%) of relative humidity at ambient relative humidities of 32, 42, 52, and 62% but not at 72 and 86%. Conversely, upwind responses to pulsed decreases (1.8%) occurred at 65, 72, and 86% but not at 32, 42, and 52% ambient relative humidities. These results suggest that perception by moist-air and dry-air hygroreceptors of turbulence-induced pulses of moist air or of dry air in their habitat trigger positive anemotactic orientation of these insects to upwind humidity resources.

Key words

Bembidion obtusidens anemotaxis hygroreceptors boundary layer turbulence water vapor transport pulsed stimuli 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. G. Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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