Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Jeremy McNeil


In fall, gynoparae and males of the potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas), migrate from secondary to primary host plants, where mating occurs. Little is known about courtship behaviour or the factors affecting how males locate host plants and receptive females. Mating assays were carried out to test the hypothesis that female age affected mating success. The data obtained did not support my hypothesis but were used to develop a mating behaviour ethogramme. In wind tunnel bioassays I tested the hypotheses that (i) the upwind responses of males to odour cues would decrease with increasing wind speed and (ii) male responses would be greater to primary host plant volatiles with sex pheromone than to plant volatiles alone. The results obtained supported both hypotheses. These findings support the idea that host plant volatiles are long distance cues for males and the female sex pheromone is used once on the host plant.



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