Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 165–183

Aerodynamic advantages of upside down take-off for aerial dispersal in Tetranychus spider mites

  • Mh. Osakabe
  • H. Isobe
  • A. Kasai
  • R. Masuda
  • S. Kubota
  • M. Umeda
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10493-008-9141-2

Cite this article as:
Osakabe, M., Isobe, H., Kasai, A. et al. Exp Appl Acarol (2008) 44: 165. doi:10.1007/s10493-008-9141-2

Abstract

Aerial dispersal may be important for redistribution of spider mites into new habitats. Evidence for behavioral control of aerial take-off has been well documented for Tetranychus urticae Koch. Before aerial dispersal they exhibit the aerial take-off posture that involves lifting the forelegs upright and raising the forebody. However, whether the aerial take-off posture functions to increase drag has remained unclear. The objectives of this study were to clarify: (i) aerodynamic effects of the aerial take-off posture; and (ii) actual aerial take-off behavior in T. urticae. To evaluate the aerodynamic forces experienced by grounded spider mites in different postures, we constructed three-dimensional models of T. urticae, exhibiting the aerial take-off posture and the normal posture, using computer graphics. We found that the aerial take-off posture was effective in receiving greater rearward forces from wind rather than upward forces. As a result, aerial take-off from a horizontal platform is unlikely. Instead, inverted departure surfaces, e.g., lower leaf surfaces, with inclines are likely to be effective sites for take-off. Laboratory experiments and field observations indicated that the mites preferentially adopted such a position for orientation and take-off. Our findings provided a rationale for the take-off behavior of Tetranychus spider mites.

Keywords

Aerodynamic forces Wind-borne dispersal Aerial take-off posture Tetranychidae Tetranychus urticae Koch 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mh. Osakabe
    • 1
  • H. Isobe
    • 2
  • A. Kasai
    • 1
  • R. Masuda
    • 2
  • S. Kubota
    • 3
    • 4
  • M. Umeda
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Ecological Information, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Field Robotics, Graduate School of Agriculture Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Fuji Branch, Shizuoka Tea Experiment StationFujiJapan
  4. 4.Deciduous Fruit Tree Branch, Shizuoka Prefectural Citrus Experiment StationHamamatsuJapan

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