Abundance of Overwintering Pupae and the Spring Generation of Helicoverpa spp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Northern New South Wales, Australia: Implications for Pest Management

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Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) and H. punctigera (Wallengren) are major pests of cotton and other field crops in Australia. We measured the abundance, species composition, and survival of overwintering pupal populations under residues of autumn crops over two seasons (1987 and 1988) in the Namoi-Gwydir region, Australia. In 1987, cotton supported the highest densities of pupae with an estimated population of 556 million individuals, while <5 million in total were found under residues of sunflower, sorghum, and grain legumes. In 1988, the population of pupae under cotton (24 million) was only 5% of that in 1987, and more were found under sunflower residues (11 million). Levels of parasitism and other mortality were lower in pupae from under cotton than other crops, and a high proportion of pupae (40-50%) survived to emergence. Virtually all overwintering pupae located in the study area have been H. armigera. The regular spring reappearance of H. punctigera in the Namoi-Gwydir area, and possiblyother eastern Australian cropping areas, must therefore derive largely from immigrants produced elsewhere. For H. armigera, the phenology of adult appearance in traps and emergence from diapause of local overwintering pupae suggest that spring populations consist of moths from local overwintering populations and from immigrant origin. This hypothesis is consistent with patterns of pyrethroid resistance measured in overwintering populations and during the spring of both seasons.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1990

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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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