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Weight Loading and Reproductive Status Affect the Flight Performance of Pieris napi Butterflies
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2452-9609
2012 (English)In: Journal of insect behavior, ISSN 0892-7553, E-ISSN 1572-8889, Vol. 25, no 5, 441-452 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Weight-induced mobility reductions can have dramatic fitness consequences and winged animals are especially sensitive to the trade-off between mass and locomotion. Data on how natural weight fluctuations influence a flying insect's ability to take off are scarce. We therefore quantified take-off flight ability in Pieris napi butterflies in relation to reproductive status. Take-off flight ability (velocity and take-off angle) under suboptimal temperature conditions was recorded with a 3D-tracking camera system and was predicted to decrease with relatively larger weight loads. Our results show that relatively larger weight loads generally reduce flight speed in male butterflies and lower take-off angles in females. However, despite having a lower wing loading, mated male butterflies flew slower than unmated males. Our study suggests that retention of weight loads associated with reproduction impairs insect flight performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 25, no 5, 441-452 p.
Keyword [en]
Lepidoptera, mobility, wing loading, reproduction, flight muscle ratio
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80637DOI: 10.1007/s10905-011-9309-1ISI: 000306220900002OAI: diva2:556450


Available from: 2012-09-25 Created: 2012-09-25 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved

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Kullberg, Cecilia
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