Oviposition Preference of Hydraecia immanis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Cage Tests

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Cage studies were conducted to examine ovipositional preferences of Hydraecia immanis Guenée among weed species and plant debris typical of those found in or adjacent to cornfields damaged by this pest and among various cover crops. Quack grass and particularly giant foxtail were highly preferred by ovipositing moths, whereas dead 1-year-old foxtail stems and cornstalk debris were less preferred. No eggs were laid on giant ragweed or soil. Winter wheat was the most highly preferred cover crop tested; sudax was less attractive. No eggs were laid on alfalfa, red clover, or orchard grass. Overall, 93% of egg masses were deposited between a stem and a leaf sheath or between two layers of a leaf sheath. Orchard grass may not have been selected by ovipositing moths because the plants remained green during the test, with the leaf sheath tightly compressed around the stem. These results suggest that female moths prefer to lay their eggs on plants in the grass family, particularly species with numerous loose leaf sheaths. H. immanis may infest crop fields if grasses are present when the moths lay their eggs.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1986

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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