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Complex patterns from simple decisions: the emergence of behaviours in Otiorhynchus sulcatus F.

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1 Filming the movement of individual adult Otiorhynchus sulcatus in a stimulus-free arena allows the frequency distribution of turning angles to be obtained. Turns are predominantly anti-clockwise and the distribution is dominated by three preferred angles (approximately 50, 130 and 190°).

2 The implications of these results are explored through deterministic and stochastic random walk models of fixed step-length. Use of each of these turning angles results in different trajectories, potentially representing different search patterns.

3 The introduction of stochastic variation in the turning angles alters the trajectories and, for the 50° turning angle, results in an approximation to published descriptions of spiral and circular search patterns for other insects.

4 This single parameter random walk model is compared with previously published models and it is postulated that, for O. sulcatus, the selection of a turning angle is sufficient to provide a rich repertoire of spatial trajectories.

Keywords: Dispersal; Otiorhynchus sulcatus; emergence; insect behaviour; random walk; searching

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Plymouth, Seale-Hayne Campus, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6NQ, U.K.

Publication date: November 1, 2004


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