To evaluate the relationship between reproduction and migratory flight, we examined ovaries, tethered flight, and egg laying in the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner). Ovarian development in female S. exigua was classified into five stages in relation to the postemergence age of the moths. Oviposition peaked at ovarian stages III and IV. Mating accelerated ovarian development in this species, and thus the mated females developed faster than the virgin moths in ovaries. In virgin adults, flight capacity increased from the first day to the third day after emergence and remained at a high level until the moths were 7 d old. In contrast, the mated moths reached the maximum flight capacity in 2 d after emergence and maintained a high level until the age of 7 d. However, mating status could not influence the flight capacity of the beet armyworm, although there were general differences in flight capacity between virgin and mated adults at the same age. Moreover, significant correlations between the number of eggs laid and the flight capacity were not performed by the mated moths. These results showed that mating status and ovarian development did not seem to influence flight capacity in the beet armyworm, which was not in agreement with the definitions of the oogenesis-flight syndrome observed in many other migratory insects.
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