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Season, sex and flight muscle investment affect take-off performance in the hibernating small tortoiseshell butterfly Agalis urticae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)
Centre for Evolutionary Biology, University of Western Australia.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2452-9609
2011 (English)In: The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera, ISSN 0022-4324, Vol. 44, 77-84 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Flight ability is generally expected to increase with relative flight muscle mass. Changes in weight can therefore be expected to influence the capacity to rapidly take-off, which can determine mating success and predator avoidance. This study examined the influence of relative flight muscle mass, sex, and season on free take-off flight ability in a butterfly model (Aglais urticae) that undergoes adult winter hibernation. Mass change and take-off flight ability (velocity and take-off angle), was predicted to fluctuate with season (before, during and after hibernation) and sex (due to reproductive investment). Our results indeed showed changes in take-off ability in relation to both parameters. Females maintained velocity across seasons but reduced take-off angles during and after hibernation. Male flight speed increased during and after hibernation, whereas take-off angles were significantly reduced during hibernation. Finally, we showed that investment in relative flight muscle mass increased velocity in female, but not in male butterflies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 44, 77-84 p.
Keyword [en]
take-off performance, Flight, diapause, Lepidoptera, predation, body mass, thorax mass.
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66260OAI: diva2:467110
Available from: 2011-12-19 Created: 2011-12-19 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved

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Kullberg, Cecilia
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