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J Insect Physiol. 2010 Dec;56(12):1966-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2010.08.021. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Attachment ability of the codling moth Cydia pomonella L. to rough substrates.

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Institute of Phytomedicine, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany.


Host plant surfaces of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella L. (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae), vary in microtopography, which can affect its attachment, locomotion, and oviposition behaviour. This study was performed to investigate the effect of surface roughness on the attachment ability of adult insects. Using a centrifugal force device, friction forces of both sexes were assessed on six epoxy resin substrates differing only in the dimensions of their surface asperities, ranging from 0 μm to 12 μm. Surface topography significantly affected friction forces. Maximal force was measured on the smooth substrate whereas minimal force was assessed on microrough substrates with 0.3 μm and 1.0 μm size of asperities. On the remaining rough substrates, friction forces were significantly higher but still lower than on the smooth substrate. Both sexes generated similar forces on the same substrate, in spite of the considerable difference in their body mass. Thus, it is expected that both sexes can attach effectively to differently structured plant substrates in their habitat. However, since smooth surfaces have been reported previously to be the most favorable substrates for ovipositing females of C. pomonella, it is possible that they use their attachment system to sense the substrate texture and prefer those substrates to which their arolia attach the best.

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