The seasonal migration of the Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) over the Bohai Sea was observed with a searchlight trap and an entomological radar located on a small island in the center of the sea, and through a network of light-traps around the Bohai region. The H. armigera moths were observed to migrate over the sea at least as early as May and light trapping through a network suggested migration might start as early as April, as soon as the moths had emerged from overwintering pupae. H. armigera moths migrated toward the north in southerly winds during spring and summer, and returned south on nights with northerly winds, or at altitudes where the wind was northerly, during fall. The passage of a weather front (cold or warm) or trough at ≈1700 hours provokes migration of H. armigera over the sea. The H. armigera generally flew at altitudes of below 1,500 m above sea level (asl) with layer concentrations at 200–500 m asl, where the wind direction, wind speed, and temperature were optimum. During fall migration, H. armigera tended to orient toward the southwest and was able to compensate for the wind drift by turning clockwise when the downwind direction was<225° but counterclockwise when it was>225°. The displacement speed measured with the radar was 24–41 km/h, the duration of flight was 8–11 h and the maximum migration rate was 1,894 moths per km per h.
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Vol. 102 • No. 1