Neonate movement and dispersal behavior of the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), were investigated under controlled conditions on Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and non-Bt corn, Zea mays L., to assess plant abandonment, dispersal from their natal plant, and silking behavior after Bt and non-Bt preexposure. With continuous airflow, neonates on a Bt corn plant for 24 h abandoned that plant 1.78 times more frequently than neonates on a non-Bt corn plant. Indirect evidence indicated that at least one third of the neonates were capable of ballooning within 24 h. In the greenhouse, some neonates were recovered after 24 h from plants 76 and 152 cm away that likely ballooned from their natal plant. After 1 h of preexposure on a Bt corn leaf, neonates placed on a new corn leaf and observed for 10 min began silking off of a new Bt leaf significantly sooner than a new non-Bt leaf. Results suggest that neonates are unable to detect Bt in the corn within 10 min but that they can detect it within the first hour.
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Vol. 103 • No. 2