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Effects of starvation period on the locomotory response of Rhyzopertha dominica (F.)

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  • Qh301 Biology
  • Qk Botany
  • Sb Plant Culture
  • Tp Chemical Technology


In the context of developing a behavioural bioassay, the effects of 1�5 days starvation on the locomotory responses of Rhyzopertha dominica were investigated. Movements in an experimental arena with airflow were videoed and analysed using computerised tracking and motion analysis software. Beetle velocity and angular velocity (turning) were influenced adversely following 3 or 4 days of starvation, resulting in a lower number of beetles arriving at food. The highest number of beetles arriving at food was when they were starved for 1 day. Gender had a statistically significant effect on velocity; on average males walked 37% faster than females and there were significant decreases in the velocity of females from the fourth day and male velocity from the fifth day of starvation. Starvation significantly reduced angular velocity of beetles although the effect of gender was not statistically significant. There was a decline in angular velocity following the first day of starvation, although the negative effect of starvation on turning is not as clear-cut as on velocity, with a more gradual decline with increasing starvation. For undertaking behavioural bioassays with R. dominica, starvation beyond 1 day is unlikely to improve responsiveness.

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