Analysis of Pole-Ascending–Descending Action by Insects Subjected to High Voltage Electric Fields

Yoshinori Matsuda, Yoshihiro Takikawa, Koji Kakutani, Teruo Nonomura, Hideyoshi Toyoda
2020 Insects  
The present study was conducted to establish an electrostatic-based experimental system to enable new investigations of insect behavior. The instrument consists of an insulated conducting copper ring (ICR) linked to a direct current voltage generator to supply a negative charge to an ICR and a grounded aluminum pole (AP) passed vertically through the center of the horizontal ICR. An electric field was formed between the ICR and the AP. Rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) was selected as a model
more » ... cted as a model insect due to its habit of climbing erect poles. The electric field produced a force that could be imposed on the insect. In fact, the negative electricity (free electrons) was forced out of the insect to polarize its body positively. Eventually, the insect was attracted to the oppositely charged ICR. The force became weaker on the lower regions of the pole; the insects sensed the weaker force with their antennae, quickly stopped climbing, and retraced their steps. These behaviors led to a pole-ascending–descending action by the insect, which was highly reproducible and precisely corresponded to the changed expansion of the electric field. Other pole-climbing insects including the cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne), which was shown to adopt the same behavior.
doi:10.3390/insects11030187 pmid:32188072 fatcat:k77cotteerayjc6uhmd73wswae