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1 June 2016 Effects of Conspecific Herbivory and Mating Status on Host Searching and Oviposition Behavior of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) in Relation to Its Host, Brassica oleracea (Brassicales: Brassicaceae)
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Abstract

Knowledge of host chemical volatiles has tremendously informed the fundamental understanding of plant-insect interactions as well as revealed opportunities for the creative use of plant-derived chemicals in the food and flavor industries and in insect pest management. This study was undertaken to assess the host searching behaviors of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) females in relation to their mating status and conspecific larval herbivory. This involved measurement of odor-modulated upwind flight of female moths in a wind tunnel. Subsequently, the host location, recognition and acceptance behaviors of gravid females in relation to either intact uninfested or larvae-infested cabbage, Brassica oleracea L. (capitata group; Brassicales: Brassicaceae) hosts were compared in no-choice and dual-choice tests. Mating status had little effect on the female responses to host odor and flight duration. However, female moths were significantly more attracted to conspecific larvae-infested cabbage plants and had significantly shorter flights than in relation to intact uninfested cabbage hosts. Behavioral responses of gravid females were consistent when offered intact and larvae-infested cabbage hosts in both no-choice and choice tests in observation cages. Antennal rotation and ovipositor probing were found to be important in host searching and recognition, respectively, before a host was accepted for egg laying. Female moths oviposited significantly more eggs on larvae-infested cabbage than on intact uninfested cabbage and in particular more on leaves than on other parts of the cabbage plant. These results indicate the potential of developing a brassica host-derived kairomone attractant as a useful monitoring tool for female diamondback moths in area-wide integrated pest management programs that have a sterile insect technique (SIT) component.

© International Atomic Energy Agency 2016. Published by the Florida Entomological Society. All Rights Reserved.
Suk Ling Wee "Effects of Conspecific Herbivory and Mating Status on Host Searching and Oviposition Behavior of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) in Relation to Its Host, Brassica oleracea (Brassicales: Brassicaceae)," Florida Entomologist 99(sp1), 159-165, (1 June 2016). https://doi.org/10.1653/024.099.sp119
Published: 1 June 2016
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