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Foraging behaviour of Helicoverpa armigera first instar larvae on crop plants of different developmental stages

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Johnson, M.-L. and Zalucki, M.P. (2005) Foraging behaviour of Helicoverpa armigera first instar larvae on crop plants of different developmental stages. Journal of Applied Entomology, 129 (5). pp. 239-245. ISSN 0931-2048

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0418.2005.00958.x


Understanding how insect pests forage on their food plants can help optimize management strategies. Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lep., Noctuidae) is a major polyphagous pest of agricultural crops worldwide. The immature stages feed and forage on crops at all stages of plant development, damaging fruiting and non-fruiting structures, yet very little is known about the influence of host type or stage on the location and behaviour of larvae. Through semi-continuous observation, we evaluated the foraging (movement and feeding) behaviours of H. armigera first instar larvae as well as the proportion of time spent at key locations on mungbean [Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek] and pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh] of differing developmental stages: seedling- and mature (flowering/pod fill)-stage plants. Both host type and age affected the behaviour of larvae. Larvae spent more time in the upper parts of mature plants than on seedlings and tended to stay at the top of mature plants if they moved there. This difference was greater in pigeon pea than in mungbean. The proportion of time allocated to feeding on different parts of a plant differed with host and age. More feeding occurred in the top of mature pigeon pea plants but did not differ between mature and seedling mungbean plants. The duration of key behaviours did not differ between plant ages in either crop type and was similar between hosts although resting bouts were substantially longer on mungbeans. Thus a polyphagous species such as H. armigera does not forage in equivalent ways on different hosts in the first instar stage.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Plant pests and diseases > Economic entomology
Live Archive:06 Feb 2024 01:51
Last Modified:06 Feb 2024 01:51

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