The effects of ageing and female mated status on the flight potential of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), collected as larvae from a pigeonpea crop in southern India, were investigated using a tethered-flight technique. In non-mated moths fed sugar solution, from the first night after adult eclosion, the durations of both total and longest continuous flight per night increased up to night 4 and remained at this level until at least night 6. Ovarian maturation was rapid with 77% of unmated moths having commenced oviposition by the third night. On the basis of field evidence it is likely that most females would be mated by the third or fourth night, provided plants with nectar or sugary exudates were locally available. In successfully-mated females a 15-fold decrease in total flight duration and a 28-fold decrease in longest continuous flight duration was observed in contrast to non-mated females of similar age. As host plants suitable for adult feeding and oviposition were locally available during the time of feral adult emergence, synchronous pre-reproductive migration was unlikely to occur in the population studied.
Armes, N.J.; Cooter, R.J. Effects of age and mated status on flight potential of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Physiological Entomology (1991) 16 (2) 131-144. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3032.1991.tb00549.x]