Cardé, Ring T., Cardé, Anja M. and Girling, Robbie D.
Observations on the flight paths of the day-flying moth Virbia lamae during periods of mate location: do males have a strategy for contacting the pheromone plume?
Journal of Animal Ecology (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2011.01887.x).
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1.?To maximize the probability of rapid contact with a female’s pheromone plume, the trajectories of male foraging flights might be expected to be directed with respect to wind flow and also to be energetically efficient.
2.?Flights directed either upwind, downwind, or crosswind have been proposed as optimal strategies for rapid and/or energetically efficient plume contact. Other possible strategies are random and Lévy walks, which have trajectories and turn frequencies that are not dictated by the direction of wind flow.
3.?The planar flight paths of males of the day-active moth Virbia lamae were recorded during the customary time of its sexual activity.
4.?We found no directional preference in these foraging flights with respect to the direction of contemporaneous wind flow, but, because crosswind encompasses twice the possible orientations of either upwind or downwind, a random orientation is in effect a de facto crosswind strategy.
5.?A crosswind preference should be favoured when the plume extends farther downwind than crosswind, and this strategy is realized by V. lamae males by a random orientation of their trajectories with respect to current wind direction.
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