Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 101–110 | Cite as

The Effect of Abiotic Factors on the Male Mate Searching Behavior and the Mating Success of Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae)

  • Melanie McClure
  • Jeremy N. McNeil


The effect of wind speed and distance from the source on the male response of the aphid parasitoid, Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae), to a pheromone source was studied in a wind tunnel. The number of males taking flight, entering the plume and successfully reaching the source, decreased at wind speeds >50 cm/s. Furthermore, the proportion of those attempting upwind flight that fell to the ground increased with increasing wind speed. In contrast, distance from the source had no significant effect on any of the parameters examined. While male flight behavior was significantly reduced at 70 cm/s, some males walked to the source when there was a bridge connecting the pheromone source and the release platform. This suggests that ambulatory behavior could be a significant component of male mate searching in A. ervi when wind conditions are too strong for upwind flight. The possible effects of variation in atmospheric pressure on male flight behavior to the long distance pheromone, as well as to the short distance one, were also investigated. No significant effects of atmospheric pressure were observed. These findings differ significantly from those previously reported for another aphid parasitoid, A. nigripes, and the reasons for such differences are discussed.


Aphidius ervi parasitoid wind atmospheric pressure mate searching behavior 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de biologieUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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