Relative flight behavior of methyl-parathion-resistant and -susceptible western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte populations, was studied as part of a larger effort to characterize the potential impact of insecticide resistance on adult life history traits and to understand the evolution and spread of resistance. A computer interfaced actograph was used to compare flight of resistant and susceptible individuals, and flight of resistant individuals with and without prior exposure to methyl-parathion. In each case, mean trivial and sustained flight durations were compared among treatments. In general, there were few differences in trivial or sustained flight characteristics as affected by beetle population, insecticide exposure, sex, or age and there were few significant interactions among variables. Tethered flight activity was highly variable and distributions of flight duration were skewed toward flights of short duration. Tethered flight activity was similar among resistant and susceptible beetles with the exception that susceptible beetles initiated more flights per beetle than resistant beetles. After sublethal exposure to methyl-parathion, total flight time, total trivial flight time, and mean number of flights per resistant beetle declined significantly. Because long-range flight was uncommon, short- to medium-duration flights may play an important role in determining gene flow and population spread of resistant D. v. virgifera. These results suggest that organophosphate-resistant beetles can readily move and colonize new areas, but localized selection pressure (e.g., management practices) and exposure to methyl-parathion may contribute to the small-scale differences in resistance intensity often seen in the field.
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Vol. 98 • No. 4