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1 December 2015 How Far Can the Red Palm Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Fly?: Computerized Flight Mill Studies with Field-Captured Weevils
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Adult Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) captured in pheromone-baited traps in commercial date palm orchards in the Al Ahsaa Directorate, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, were used in computerized flight mill studies to determine the flight characteristics of this highly invasive and destructive palm pest. Flight mill studies were run at three different time periods, winter (December), spring (March), and summer (May). Of the 192 weevils tethered to flight mills ∼30% failed to fly>1 km. Of those weevils flying>1 km(n=139), 55% flew>10 km, and of these flyers 5% flew>50 km in 24 h. Flying weevils exhibited an average weight loss of 20–30% and nonflying control weevils lost ∼9–13% body weight in 24 h. Male and female weevils flying in summer (average laboratory temperature was ∼27° C) flew the longest average distances (∼25–35 km), exhibited highest weight reductions (∼30%), and greatest mortality rates (∼80%). Consequently, time of year not weevil sex or color morph had a consistent and significant effect on flight activity, weight loss, and survivorship rates. Flight activity was predominantly diurnal commencing around 5:00 a.m. and peaking between 9–11:00 a.m. before tapering off. The distribution of flight distances combined across season and sex was mesokurtic (i.e., normally distributed).

© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
M. S. Hoddle, C. D. Hoddle, J. R. Faleiro, H. A. F. El-Shafie, D. R. Jeske, and A. A. Sallam "How Far Can the Red Palm Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Fly?: Computerized Flight Mill Studies with Field-Captured Weevils," Journal of Economic Entomology 108(6), 2599-2609, (1 December 2015).
Received: 26 May 2015; Accepted: 19 July 2015; Published: 1 December 2015

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