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Ovipositional Patterns and Larval Movement of Delia antiqua (Diptera: Anthomyiidae) on Sprouted Bulb and Seedling Onions

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Delia antique (Meigen) exhibited pronounced differential oviposition on seedling versus sprouted bulb onions. In a dual treatment experiment, /lies laid significantly more eggs per plant per day on sprouted bulbs (97.4 ± 14.4 [mean ± SEM]) than on seedlings (0.4 ± 0.3). In a single-treatment experiment, sprouted bulbs received 103.2 ± 11.4 eggs per plant/d and seedlings only 3.5 ± 1.8. Switching treatments in the single treatment experiment caused an immediate reversal in oviposition. Flies first given sprouted bulbs ceased oviposition when presented with seedlings and /lies switched from seedlings to sprouted bulbs commenced oviposition. Therefore, once activated, the fixed action pattern governing D. antique egg deposition is not free-running. In glasshouse experiments, sprouted bulbs did not influence the pattern of egg deposition by female /lies on surrounding seedlings, indicating that ovipositional patterns cannot fully explain aggregated damage observed in the field. Onion maggot movement away from sprouted bulbs previously inoculated with high numbers of eggs resulted in aggregated damage to surrounding seedlings, at least partially explaining field observations. Differential oviposition supports the use of sprouted bulbs as an ovipositional trap crop for onion maggot control, but larval movement away from potentially impenetrable, undamaged bulbs requires consideration of trap crop placement relative to seedlings, timing of planting so that the seedling stage coincides with peak D. antique oviposition, and timing of, trap crop removal.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1993

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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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