Survival assays were conducted with beet armyworm (BAW), Spodoptera exigua (Hübner), a tortoise beetle, Gratiana bolivana Spaeth, and western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), on tropical soda apple (TSA), Solanum viarum Dunal, a relative of tomato. Both S. exigua and G. boliviana seem to induce plant defenses in tropical soda apple. Significantly more S. exigua neonate larvae survived to second instar on non-induced plants and artificial diet when compared with plants with induced defenses. Our results further suggest that the induced response in TSA was systemic, since BAW neonates suffered higher mortality in induced plants despite not being in direct contact with the damaged part of the plant. Results suggested that feeding action of G. boliviana on TSA had no significant influence on WFT host choice.
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Vol. 94 • No. 3