Influence of European Corn Borer (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) Damage to Potato and Foliage Availability on Overwinter Survival of First-Generation Colorado Potato Beetle Adults (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in North Carolina

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Survival of 1st-generation Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), adults following harvest of the Irish potato, Solanum tuberosum L., crop in late June was investigated in eastern North Carolina. First-generation adults that emerge before harvest may have access to postbloom-stage potato plants injured by European com borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), whereas beetles that emerge after harvest may have access only to cull tubers. We tested the hypotheses that adult overwinter survival is positively correlated with the period 1st-generation adult beetles had fed on potato foliage and that feeding on com borer-damaged plants affect overwinter survival of 1st-generation adults. Therefore, overwinter survival was examined after beetles were presented a continuous supply of potato tubers as the only source of food or were fed for 3, 7, 11-12, or 17 d on potato plants that were either damaged by the European com borer or undamaged, and then were provided tubers. Feeding on com borer-damaged plants did not affect overwinter survival of 1st-generation potato beetle adults (survival in 1993: damaged, 15% and undamaged, 14%; 1994: damaged, 11% and undamaged, 9%). First-generation adults that had access to potato foliage in late June and early July had a significantly better chance of surviving overwinter and reproducing the following year compared with beetles that had access only to tubers. Overwinter survival of 1st-generation beetles that had only tubers as a host was 0 and 0.5% in 1993 and 1994, respectively.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1996

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