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Flight periodicity and the vertical distribution of high-altitude moth migration over southern Britain

Flight periodicity and the vertical distribution of high-altitude moth migration over southern Britain

Wood, C.R., Reynolds, D.R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8749-7491, Wells, P.M., Barlow, J.F., Woiwod, I.P. and Chapman, J.W. (2009) Flight periodicity and the vertical distribution of high-altitude moth migration over southern Britain. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 99 (5). pp. 525-535. ISSN 0007-4853 (doi:10.1017/S0007485308006548)

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Abstract

The continuous operation of insect-monitoring radars in the UK has permitted, for the first time, the characterization of various phenomena associated with high-altitude migration of large insects over this part of northern Europe. Previous studies have taken a case-study approach, concentrating on a small number of nights of particular interest. Here, combining data from two radars, and from an extensive suction- and light-trapping network, we have undertaken a more systematic, longer-term study of diel flight periodicity and vertical distribution of macro-insects in the atmosphere. Firstly, we identify general features of insect abundance and stratification, occurring during the 24-hour cycle, which emerge from four years' aggregated radar data for the summer months in southern Britain. These features include mass emigrations at dusk and, to a lesser extent, at dawn and daytime concentrations associated with thermal convection. We then focus our attention on the well-defined layers of large nocturnal migrants that form in the early evening, usually at heights of 200–500 m above ground. We present evidence from both radar and trap data that these nocturnal layers are composed mainly of noctuid moths, with species such as Noctua pronuba, Autographa gamma, Agrotis exclamationis, A. segetum, Xestia c-nigrum and Phlogophora meticulosa predominating.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Bulletin of Entomological Research is one of the periodicals acquired from CABI Publishing by Cambridge University Press in 2006
Uncontrolled Keywords: insect layers, aerial migration, entomological radar, noctuid moths, flight periodicity
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2015 13:52
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/2028

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