Migratory flight behaviour of the pollen beetle Meligethes aeneus
Pest Management Science
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BACKGROUND: The field ecology of the pollen beetle Meligethes aeneus and its damaging effects on oilseed rape crops are well understood. However, the flight behaviour of M. aeneus, in particular the drivers for migratory movements across the landscape, is not well studied. We combined three established methodologies; suction traps, vertical-looking radar and high-altitude aerial netting to demonstrate that M. aeneus fly at a range of altitudes at different points during its active season. RESULTS: By linking evidence of high-altitude mass migration with immigration of pollen beetles into oilseed rape fields, we were able to 'ground-truth' the results to characterise the seasonal movements of this pest across the landscape. CONCLUSION: We demonstrate that this novel combination of methodologies can advance our understanding of the population movements of pollen beetles and could provide an opportunity to develop predictive models to estimate the severity and timing of pest outbreaks.
This work was funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Rothamsted Research is a national Institute of Bioscience funded strategically by the BBSRC
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
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