Movement behavior of Altica subplicata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae): larval orientation and movement

TitleMovement behavior of Altica subplicata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae): larval orientation and movement
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsBach CE
JournalJournal of the Kansas Entomological Society
Volume66
Issue1
Pagination86-96
KeywordsVISUAL
Abstract

This study examined the rates of movement and orientation behavior of larvae of a willow flea beetle, Altica subplicata. Mark-recapture techniques were used to determine rates of residency and colonization of Salix cordata host plants growing on sand dunes in northern Michigan. Larvae frequently moved between plants, with over 15% of larvae found on the first day after marking on plants other than the original plants on which they were marked. Larvae moved an average of 43 cm/day in a southerly direction, away from the shore of Lake Huron. Plant height did not affect the proportion of larvae remaining on original plants nor the proportion of larvae moving to other plants. Plants with higher larval densities, however, had a greater proportion of larvae remaining in one of the experiments. Larval size also significantly affected the proportion of larvae remaining on plants for one of the experiments. Larval orientation was tested by placing a larva in the center of a circular arena with an object placed at various positions at the edge of the circle. Larvae did not positively orient to vertical sticks, S. cordata plants or to S. cordata leaves in a mesh bag, indicating a lack of visual or chemical orientation to host plants. However, larvae showed a positive visual orientation and moved faster towards larger objects (simulated by a clipboard).