Effects of low intensity magnetic fields on cabbage loopers

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Virginia Tech

Possible effects of steady low strength magnetic fields on insects were studied using the cabbage looper moth, Trichoplusia ni (Hubner). In the first tests, adult loopers were used to determine their locational preference in response to areas of stronger or weaker magnetic field ranging from slightly above the geomagnetic field strength to a strength of 120 gauss. In a second series of tests, looper eggs were continuously exposed to steady magnetic fields of various strengths ranging from 10 to 1850 gauss. In a third series of tests t individual adult loopers were exposed to a steady 500 gauss field for five minutes. Oxygen consumption was monitored to indicate the level of moth activity before, during, and after this exposure.

Results of the tests conducted revealed no effect of low magnetic fields on moth locational preference, egg hatchability, or activity level.