Feeding Behavior and Growth of Corn Earworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Larvae on Bacillus thuringiensis-Treated (Dipel 4L) and Untreated Meridic Diet

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The effect of Dipel 4L in artificial diet on feeding behavior, occurrence on a specific diet, and growth of corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), was assessed in short-term tests. Third-, fourth-, and fifth-stage laboratory-reared and feral corn earworm larvae were evaluated. Arenas used for each assay included a non-Dipel diet, Dipel-containing diet, and a combination of the two diets. Larval activity was observed immediately after exposure to diet and at 6 and 18 h for third instars and at 6, 8, and 24 h for fourth and fifth instars, respectively. Feral and laboratory-reared third, fourth, and feral fifth instars avoided Dipel-treated diet when more suitable food was available. Third and fourth instars consistently preferred non-Dipel-containing diet when presented a choice of foods. Corn earworm growth was delayed when larvae were subjected to Dipel-treated diet in choice and no-choice assays compared with larvae provided untreated diet. Larvae presented a choice of diets grew more rapidly than those presented Dipel-treated diets in no choice arenas. Larval feeding frequency and weight gain were superior when larvae were supplied untreated diet than when restricted solely to a Dipel-treated diet. Larvae presented a choice of diets spent more time feeding and fed more frequently on untreated diet than Dipel-treated food. These data indicate that corn earworm presented a choice of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and non-Bt diets may have an increased probability of completing development compared with those restricted to Bt-laced sources.

Keywords: Dipel; Helicoverpa zea; artificial diet; larval behavior

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493(2007)100[1221:FBAGOC]2.0.CO;2

Publication date: August 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • 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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