The biology and behavior of insects are strongly influenced by environmental conditions such as temperature and precipitation. Because some of these factors present a within day variation, they may be causing variations on insect diurnal flight activity, but scant information exists on the issue. The aim of this work was to describe the patterns on diurnal variation of the abundance of Ichneumonoidea and their relation with relative humidity, temperature, light intensity, and wind speed. The study site was a tropical dry forest at Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, Mexico; where correlations between environmental factors (relative humidity, temperature, light, and wind speed) and abundance of Ichneumonidae and Braconidae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea) were estimated. The best regression model for explaining abundance variation was selected using the second order Akaike Information Criterion. The optimum values of temperature, humidity, and light for flight activity of both families were also estimated. Ichneumonid and braconid abundances were significantly correlated to relative humidity, temperature, and light intensity; ichneumonid also showed significant correlations to wind speed. The second order Akaike Information Criterion suggests that in tropical dry conditions, relative humidity is more important that temperature for Ichneumonoidea diurnal activity. Ichneumonid wasps selected toward intermediate values of relative humidity, temperature and the lowest wind speeds; while Braconidae selected for low values of relative humidity. For light intensity, braconids presented a positive selection for moderately high values.
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Vol. 41 • No. 3