Ovipositional preference and larval survival of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), were compared among cabbage, Brassica oleracea L. variety capitata; glossy collards, Brassica oleracea L. variety acephala; and yellow rocket, Barbarea vulgaris (R. Br.) variety arcuata in different treatments of planting density, host plant age, intercropping, and water stress in 2003 and 2004. P. xylostella laid nearly twice as many eggs per plant in the high planting densities of glossy collards and yellow rocket than in the standard planting densities. Ovipositional preference was positively correlated with plant age in cabbage, glossy collards, and yellow rocket. Larval survival on cabbage was 1.9 times higher on 6-wk than on 12-wk-old plants, whereas larval survival on collards was 12.1 times higher on the younger plants. No larvae survived on either 6- or 12-wk-old yellow rocket plants. Intercropping cabbage with either tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., or fava bean, Vicia fava L., did not reduce the number of eggs laid on cabbage. No significant differences in oviposition were found between water-stressed and well-irrigated host plants treatments. Yet, P. xylostella larval survival on water-stressed cabbage was 2.1 times lower than on well-irrigated cabbage plants. Based on our findings, the effectiveness of trap crops of glossy collards and yellow rocket could be enhanced by integrating the use of higher planting densities in the trap crop than in the main crop and seeding of the trap crop earlier than the main crop.
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Vol. 98 • No. 3