P. Boda, Z. Csabai (2012): When do beetles and bugs fly? A unified scheme for describing seasonal flight behaviour of highly dispersing primary aquatic insects. Hydrobiologia, online open
Changes of seasonal dispersal flight were investigated based on a wide spectrum of aquatic Heteroptera and Coleoptera species. We hypothesized that species or groups of species can be characterized by various seasonal patterns of dispersal flight. Dispersal activity was studied in a lowland marsh located in NE Hungary during a 30-week long monitoring period. Insects were attracted to highly polarising horizontal shiny black plastic sheets laid onto the ground. There are no periods of the year (from April till October) when insects are not rising into the air, but species have various seasonal flight activity. Dispersal flight activity of 45 species could be described. These activities assessed based on a seasonal approach and proportional classification. Based on these results, three seasonal patterns and twelve sub-patterns were defined. Comparing the observed patterns with previously reported dispersal activity data, we argue that observations found in the literature fit well with patterns defined here, therefore, to assess the dispersal behaviour, a unified scheme can be established. Owing to this unified scheme, the seasonal dispersal activity of primary aquatic insects observed in different studies becomes highly comparable. This scheme can be a useful tool for assessing dispersal behaviour of insects across other geographic regions.
Flight behaviour, Seasonal patterns, Year-long dispersal, Polarotaxis, Coleoptera, Heteroptera