Annals of the Entomological Society of America (2019) 112, 388-401
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Phylogeography of the recent expansion of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in South America and the Caribbean Basin
Annals of the Entomological Society of America 112 (4), 388-401
Abstract: The Old World bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), is one of the most destructive agricultural pests worldwide. It was first recorded in Brazil in 2013, yet despite this recent introduction, H. armigera has spread throughout much of Latin America. Where H. armigera has become established, it is displacing or hybridizing with the congeneric New World pest Helicoverpa zea. In addition to the adaptive qualities that make H. armigera a megapest, such as broad range pesticide resistance, the spread of H. armigera in the New World may have been hastened by multiple introductions into South America and/or the Caribbean. The recent expansion of the range of H. armigera into the New World is analyzed herein using mtDNA of samples from South America, the Caribbean Basin, and the Florida Peninsula. Phylogeographic analyses reveal that several haplotypes are nearly ubiquitous throughout the New World and native range of H. armigera, but several haplotypes have limited geographic distribution from which a secondary introduction with Euro-African origins into the New World is inferred. In addition, host–haplotype correlations were analyzed to see whether haplotypes might be restricted to certain crops. No specialization was found; however, some haplotypes had a broader host range than others. These results suggest that the dispersal of H. armigera in the New World is occurring from both natural migration and human-mediated introductions. As such, both means of introduction should be monitored to prevent the spread of H. armigera into areas such as the United States, Mexico, and Canada, where it is not yet established.
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Database assignments for author(s): Alicia E. Timm
Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
new introduction of pest
population dynamics/ epidemiology