Effects of Low Temperature on the Survival of the Alfalfa Weevil from Alberta and Utah1

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Alfalfa weevils, Hypera postica (Gyll.), were collected from Alberta and Utah in the spring of 1957. Their progenies were reared for one generation under indentical conditions in the laboratory and the adults of the two populations were compared for mortality at low temperatures. The two groups did not differ in their undercooling points, which averaged about - 18.

After 72 days of exposure to -10. there was no difference in mortality between the Alberta and Utah weevils. However, when moved to 10. after 11 days at -10 the Utah weevils became active much sooner than the Alberta weevils.

Alberta and Utah weevils were compared for mortality in the field during the winter of 1957-58 in southern Alberta. In one experiment the weevils were allowed to select their own habitat. In a second experiment they were restricted to four positions. In both experiments there were no significant differences in mortality between the two groups of weevils. It was concluded that the establishment of the alfalfa weevil in more northerly regions did not arise through development of increased cold resistance but, perhaps, through a selection of those individuals that possess slower responses to rising temperatures.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1960

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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