Use of plant secondary metabolic compounds is an important method for insect pest control. In this study, the survival, development, and reproduction of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) MEAM1 cryptic species were compared over two consecutive generations on three cotton cultivars of different gossypol levels. Both cotton cultivar and generation significantly affected the fitness of the whitefly. In both generations, the immature development times on the low-gossypol cultivar ZMS13 were significantly longer than those on the high-gossypol cultivar M9101 or medium-gossypol cultivar HZ401. The female fecundity and rate of population increase of the whitefly ranked in the following order: ZMS13 > HZ401 > M9101. On each cultivar, the immature development time was shorter and the immature survival rate was higher in the second generation than those in the first generation. Rate of increase was also higher in the second generation. These results demonstrated that the fitness of B. tabaci MEAM1 cryptic species on the low-gossypol cotton cultivar ZMS13 was higher than that on the medium- or high-gossypol cultivar. The comparison of the life histories of B. tabaci MEAM1 cryptic species on different cotton varieties is important for the development of an integrated pest management program of the whitefly by using plant secondary metabolic compounds.
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Vol. 106 • No. 3