DataSheet1_Daily activity patterns and body temperature of the Oriental migratory locust, Locusta migratoria manilensis (Meyen), in natural habitat.pdf
Current pest management techniques would benefit from understanding the behavioural rhythms of the target pest and its body temperature, a critical aspect not well studied and potentially limiting the effectiveness of biopesticides under natural conditions. This study aims 1) to understand under natural conditions the behavioural patterns of different stages of hoppers and adults of Locusta migratoria manilensis and 2) to identify the environmental factors modulating their body temperature through field observation. We carried out an intensive field sampling in two of the main locust breeding regions in China, recording the body temperature (day and night), morphological traits (stage, sex and size) and microhabitat of 953 individuals. The results revealed that locusts preferred the ground as their main activity subhabitat, particularly for hoppers. Adults tended to move upper in the reed canopy at two peaks (10-11 h and 14-15 h). Locusts body temperature during daytime increased with development stage and size, while the opposite pattern occurred during night time. Entompathogenic fungi are more effective if the body temperature of the target pest is in a proper range without too high or too low. Application of biopesticides should focus on younger locusts spraying in the morning or at dusk as the locusts have lower body temperatures.