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The Food Finding of Wireworms (Agriotes spp.)

Naturevolume 155pages4647 (1945) | Download Citation



THE apparent efficiency with which wireworms (Agriotes obscurus, lineatus and sputator), when in an active feeding phase, find crop plants on which to feed is very striking. It is displayed even though these plants may not be particularly closely spaced and at first occupy only a very small proportion of the total soil surface. This makes it appear improbable that random wandering either on or in the soil could offer a complete explanation. Yet in spite of this, and of the enormous literature on wireworms, there seem to be no studies on record which throw any clear light on the methods by which the food is found. The potential importance of such knowledge as a basis for the elaboration of trapping methods needs no emphasis, and it was largely for this reason that the work here described was undertaken. It is hoped that the first paper dealing with these investigations will shortly be in the press. The object of this letter is to summarize certain broad conclusions which have so far emerged.

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  1. 1

    Falconer, D. S., J. Exp. Biol., in the press.

  2. 2

    Neuberger, A., and Sanger, F., Biochem. J., 36, 662 (1942).

  3. 3

    Ullyott, P., J. Exp. Biol., 13, 253 (1936).

  4. 4

    Fraenkel and Gunn, "The Orientation of Animals" (1940).

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  1. Sub-Department of Entomology, Zoological Department, Cambridge

    • W. H. THORPE
    •  & A. C. CROMBIE
  2. Biochemical Laboratory, Cambridge

    • R. HILL
    •  & J. H. DARRAH


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