The Influence of Host Plants on the Mating Success of the Cotton Bollworm,
Feb 22, 2019

Crop Protection WCRC WCRC2

The chances of a moth mating successfully may depend on the type of crop or other vegetation surrounding it. Mating trays were used to determine the mating success of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) in various crops in the Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia during the 1996/97 and 1667/98 seasons. Moth abundance was assessed with pheromone and light traps. A series of comparisons of three or four crops was used, including mature maize (corn), immature, flowering and post flowering cotton and pre flowering and post flowering sunflower, sorghum and soybeans and fallow land. Laboratory reared virgin females with their wings clipped were placed in mating trays in the various crops and remained there until they were mated. The studies indicate that host plants did not significantly influence the chance of being mated, despite substantial variation in moth abundance between crops. Preliminary studies included a comparison of wing-clipping methods. The removal of the right fore and hind wings proved most effective. No consistent pattern emerged suggesting the multiple moths could be used in each tray. A comparison of females aged two to five days old showed no significant effect of moth age on the chance of being mated. The response of females to host volatiles and male response to females in the presence of host volatiles is being investigated in laboratory studies

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