Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Biology

Supervisor

Dr. Jeremy McNeil

Abstract

The Western bean cutworm (WBC) recently expanded its range eastward from the western United States into the Great Lakes region. Little is known about the reproductive biology of this potential pest, therefore I studied the calling behaviour (the emission of the sex pheromone by females) under different biotic (age, mating status) and abiotic (temperature, relative humidity) conditions. Sexual maturation, which occurred several days after emergence, indicating that WBC is a migratory species, was not directly affected by temperature but rather by the difference between day and night temperatures. Calling behaviour was influenced by female age, but not the abiotic factors tested. Titers of the sex pheromone did not change with female age suggesting older females that call for longer, may be more attractive than younger conspecifics. Females resumed calling within 48h of mating, and did so earlier than virgin ones, which may explain the high incidence of polyandry in WBC.


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