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1 February 2009 Response of Melittia oedipus (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) to Visual Cues Is Increased by the Presence of Food Source
G.V.P. Reddy, Z. T. Cruz, N. Braganza, R. Muniappan
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Abstract

Visual and olfactory cues were shown to mediate short-distance orientation to different colors in the presence and in the absence of food in Melittia oedipus Oberthür (Lepidoptera Sesiidae), a biological control agent of Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt (Violales: Cucurbitaceae). Yellow was the color most preferred by M. oedipus, and adults landed significantly more on yellow paper moistened with honey-water. The next preferred colors were gray and white with the identical food source. Colors such as red, blue, green, brown, and black were least preferred by M. oedipus and attracted the adults on par with each other. The M. oedipus landings on petri dishes which held yellow-, gray-, and white-colored papers were significantly higher than the colorless petri dishes with olfactory stimuli only. There was no significant difference in landings on different-colored papers moistened with honey-water or with water alone in the morning compared with those in the evening. The cumulative response of M. oedipus to different-colored papers moistened with honey-water was significantly higher than the colored papers moistened with water only. Correspondingly, the response of M. oedipus to yellow-colored paper moistened with honey-water was significantly higher than the yellow-colored paper moistened with water only. Therefore, yellow paper moistened with honey-water can increase the feeding rate of M. oedipus and can be a potential technique in developing mass cultures for field release to control the invasive weed.

© 2009 Entomological Society of America
G.V.P. Reddy, Z. T. Cruz, N. Braganza, and R. Muniappan "Response of Melittia oedipus (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) to Visual Cues Is Increased by the Presence of Food Source," Journal of Economic Entomology 102(1), 127-132, (1 February 2009). https://doi.org/10.1603/029.102.0118
Received: 2 March 2008; Accepted: 1 October 2008; Published: 1 February 2009
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