Take-off and flight behaviour of the tiger-beetle species Cicindela hybrida in a hot environment

Nachtigall, W.

Entomologia Generalis 20(4): 249-262


ISSN/ISBN: 0171-8177
Accession: 033652063

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Take-off and flight behaviour of Cicindela hybrida Linnaeus 1758, living on a small sandy spot was recorded during a very hot period of mid august. Timing of take-off to flight sequence ducking, jumping, elytra opening, first wing-beat - is described. This sequence is stereotype and very fast, lasting only 0.12 s, even when taking off after copulation. Distance-, velocity- and acceleration-time-functions are given and compared to the start-to-run sequence. The flight path angle at take-off is usually around 40 degree . Mean speed and maximum acceleration are around 0.6 m s-1 and 7 m-2 for flight and approximately 1/4 of this value for running. A take-off jump is carried out with mainly the pedes-II. By the time the end of a jump has been reached the P-I are stretched out to support the outspread elytra in a slightly positive V-position and a moment later they are aided by the P-II. Wing-beat frequency at take-off averages 100 Hz during the hottest time of day (13.00 hours, S-Tp T-S ltoreq 50 degree C) and 70 s-1 in the evening when, normally, they no longer take-off (20.30 hr, T-S apprxeq 24 degree C). Flight lasts only a few seconds, maximum flight speed is gtoreq 3 m s-1, maximum flight height and length is generally 50 cm and 5 m. The elytra, which do not beat, are held almost horizontally, still supported by the pedes-I and -II. Distal parts of the P-11 are stretched forward obliquely, P-III are stretched backward, the tarsi touching each other. Wing-beat frequency (under hot environmental conditions) is around 100 Hz and amplitude between 150-180 degree , or slightly more. At the upper turning region the wing tips often touch each other, executing near clap and fling, but they do not touch at the lower turning point. A phase shift between coupled beating and rotational oscillations is clearly visible.