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Lift Production in the Flesh Fly, Neobellieria (= Sarcophaga) bullata Parker
Vol. 5, No. 3 (1991), pp. 448-456
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2389817
Page Count: 9
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Maximum lift production during take-off is proportional to flight velocity and acceleration. Therefore, lift production may be an important component of flight performance for two reasons. First, increased lift production could decrease mortality due to predation by increasing the velocity of take-off. Second, increased lift production could be correlated with higher levels of reproductive success in both males and females. In this paper I measure age-specific maximum lift production in male and female flesh flies, Neobellieria (= Sarcophaga) bullata Parker. Lift production in N. bullata ranges from 12.3 to 34.5 mg in flies with an adjusted average mass of 56.5 mg. Female flies suffer a 40% reduction in net lift production during egg development and this reduction is due to the increase in abdomen mass associated with ovarian maturation. I also determine the influence of flight muscle mass and three wing aerodynamic characters on lift production with the effects of body size removed. Residual flight muscle mass is positively correlated with residual lift production, but residual wing area, wing loading, and wing length are not. The results of this study suggest that lift production during take-off may be an important component of the overall flight performance of flying insects and a potential mechanism for a trade-off between reproduction and mortality due to predation.
Functional Ecology © 1991 British Ecological Society