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THE Flight behaviour of cocoa-capsids (hemiptera: miridae)
- LESTON, DENNIS
- Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 1973 pp. 91-100
- Distantiella theobroma, Sahlbergella singularis, adults, canopy, control methods, females, insect flight, males, molting, Ghana
- The cocoa-capsid Distantiella theobroma flies from its canopy substrate spontaneously but when disturbed first falls 1.2 to 1.9 m before flying. Adults are capable of flight 18 to 20 hr after the final moult. Flight is directly sunwards when the sun is low, but when it is high the bugs fly upwards in spirals and zigzags. Flight is terminated by the sight of vertical objects. Mean flight speed is 3.1 ± 0.5 m/sec at 23°. Potential range is at least 1.1 km in females, 2.3 km in males. The other cocoa-capsid, Sahlbergella singularis, differs in being markedly nocturnal in its dispersal flights. Males fly far more often than females. Other factors affecting flight are discussed and the implications of the flight potential for control methods are mentioned. No part of Ghana's cocoa is out of range of colonisation by either species.