Ecological Entomology (2004) 29, 117-122

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Scott N. Johnson, Derek B. Read and Peter J. Gregory (2004)
Tracking larval insect movement within soil using high resolution X-ray microtomography
Ecological Entomology 29 (1), 117-122
Abstract: 1. In contrast to above-ground insects, comparatively little is known about the behaviour of subterranean insects, due largely to the difficulty of studying them in situ.
2. The movement of newly hatched (neonate) clover root weevil (Sitona lepidus L. Coleoptera: Curculinidae) larvae was studied non-invasively using recently developed high resolution X-ray microtomography.
3. The movement and final position of S. lepidus larvae in the soil was reliably established using X-ray microtomography, when compared with larval positions that were determined by destructively sectioning the soil column.
4. Newly hatched S. lepidus larvae were seen to attack the root rhizobial nodules of their host plant, white clover (Trifolium repens L.). Sitona lepidus larvae travelled between 9 and 27 mm in 9 h at a mean speed of 1.8 mm h-1.
5. Sitona lepidus larvae did not move through the soil in a linear manner, but changed trajectory in both the lateral and vertical planes.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Scott N. Johnson

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
population dynamics/ epidemiology
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Sitona obsoletus Clover (Trifolium)