Meeting Abstract

S3-2.2  Friday, Jan. 4  Noctuid Migration in the Nocturnal Boundary Layer WESTBROOK, J. K.; U.S. Department of Agriculture, College Station, TX

Long-distance migration of adult corn earworm or cotton bollworm moths (Helicoverpa zea), and several other noctuid moth species, facilitates seasonal expansion of pest populations and consequent increased infestations of agricultural crops on a continental scale in North America. Long-term field studies of population dynamics and migratory flights of H. zea in the United States were evaluated using X-band radar observations and profiles of atmospheric conditions. These studies identified characteristic patterns of migratory flight that are largely associated with vertical profiles of temperature and wind speed. Collective patterns of moth migrations were generally highly correlated with wind headings, but often at a significant angular deviation. Preliminary analyses are presented between moth distributions in the aerosphere estimated from discrete moth counts using X-band radar and bulk reflectivity data from NEXRAD Doppler radar. Identification of associations between atmospheric factors and H. zea population dynamics and migratory flights will improve the ability to predict infestations by this pest species throughout its broad seasonal range expansion.