, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 264-273
Date: 08 Jan 2011

Visual Active Space of the Milfoil Weevil, Euhrychiopsis lecontei Dietz (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

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Abstract

Euhrychiopsis lecontei Dietz (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a native weevil, is used as a biological control agent for the invasive aquatic macrophyte, Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.). Because E. lecontei overwinters on land in the adult stage and must find plants in lakes each spring, plant finding behaviors are essential to eventually understanding and predicting long term biological control. Our research showed that E. lecontei is visually attracted to M. spicatum at up to 17.5 cm, and is more attracted to plants than other visual stimuli within 15 cm. We also showed that turbidity may affect visual plant finding at 15 cm. Using available data from this and other previous studies involving chemical cues and other life history traits, we propose a testable conceptual model for how E. lecontei finds plants each year, especially while underwater. This model may also be used to explain plant finding by aquatic phytophagous insects in general.