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Beet Armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Feeding Impact on Cabbage Development and Marketability

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Cabbage plants in three growth stages were infested with third-instar beet armyworms, Spodoptera exigua (Hubner), at four densities ranging from 0 to 17 larvae per plant. Larvae were allowed to feed and complete development on the plant in this greenhouse study. All plants exposed to larvae in the vegetative growth stage produced marketable heads at harvest. A significant linear relationship was calculated for regression of beet armyworm density on cabbage head weight. A 95% confidence interval calculated on the mean response indicated that 15 beet armyworms per plant significantly lowered head weight compared with no larvae per plant. Plants infested in the cupping stage produced 47% marketable heads at three larvae per plant and 27% marketable heads at 10 and 17 larvae per plant. No significant relationship was found between larval denSity and cabbage head weight for this growth stage. Plants infested in the heading stage produced fewer marketable heads as larval densities increased, ranging from 74 to 14% marketable heads at three and 17 larvae per plant, respectively. Beet armyworms consumed a higher percentage of older leaves than younger leaves on cabbage plants in the vegetative and cupping growth stages.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1994

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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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