Oviposition by Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) and Effects of Phylloplane Waxiness

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Three approaches were used to investigate effects of host plant epicuticular waxes on oviposition site selection by Plutella xylostella (L.). In the first approach, oviposition on canola (Brassica napus L.) that had epicuticular wax reduced by application of a carbamate herbicide (S-ethyl dipropylthiocarbamate) was compared with oviposition on untreated control plants. A second approach compared oviposition on sibling strains of B. napus with different wax blooms (glossy and waxy), and a third approach compared oviposition by P. xylostella on parafilm that had been applied to glossy and waxy B. napus strains for transfer of leaf components. Significantly more eggs were deposited on herbicide-treated plants (with reduced epicuticular wax) than on untreated controls. Similarly, more eggs were deposited on glossy than on waxy sibling strains of B. napus. In parafilm assays significantly more eggs were deposited on treated than on untreated parafilm. Several mechanisms could explain the differences in attractiveness of surfaces with varying wax content as oviposition sites for P. xylostella, including visual, chemical, and tactile differences between substrates. These mechanisms are discussed.

Keywords: Cruciferae; Plutella xylostella; epicuticular wax; leaf surface; oviposition behavior

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-93.4.1152

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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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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