Energy use by the mountain pine beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) for dispersal by flight

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • The mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins is a major native pest of pine (Pinus Linnaeus (Pinaceae)) in western North America. Host colonization by mountain pine beetle is associated with an obligatory dispersal phase, during which beetles fly in search of a suitable host. Mountain pine beetles use stored energy from feeding in the natal habitat to power flight before host colonization and brood production. Lipids fuel mountain pine beetle flight, however, it is not known if other energy sources are also used during flight. Here, we compare the level of energy substrates, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids of individual mountain pine beetles flown on flight mills with unflown control beetles. We use a colorimetric method to measure theentire metabolite content of each individual beetle. This study reveals that mountain pine beetles are composed of more protein and lipid than carbohydrate. Both female and male mountain pine beetles use lipids and carbohydrates as energy sources during flight. There is variation between sexes, however, in the energy substrates used for flight. Male mountain pine beetles use protein, in addition to lipids and carbohydrates, to fuel flight, while protein content is not different between flown and control females.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Draft / Submitted)
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Wijerathna, A., Evenden, M. 2019. Energy use by the mountain pine beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) for dispersal by flight. Physiological Entomology 44(3-4): 200-208.