Modelling larval movement data from individual bioassays

Chris R McLellan, Bruce J Worton*, William Deasy, A Nicholas E Birch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


We consider modelling the movements of larvae using individual bioassays in which data are collected at a high-frequency rate of five observations per second. The aim is to characterize the behaviour of the larvae when exposed to attractant and repellent compounds. Mixtures of diffusion processes, as well as Hidden Markov models, are proposed as models of larval movement. These models account for directed and localized movements, and successfully distinguish between the behaviour of larvae exposed to attractant and repellent compounds. A simulation study illustrates the advantage of using a Hidden Markov model rather than a simpler mixture model. Practical aspects of model estimation and inference are considered on extensive data collected in a study of novel approaches for the management of cabbage root fly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-501
Number of pages17
JournalBiometrical Journal
Issue number3
Early online date12 Mar 2015
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 May 2015


Bibliographical note

©2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • Diffusion
  • Hidden Markov models
  • Mixtures
  • Model comparison

Cite this

McLellan, C. R., Worton, B. J., Deasy, W., & Birch, A. N. E. (2015). Modelling larval movement data from individual bioassays. Biometrical Journal, 57(3), 485-501.