Insects (2016) 7 (3 - 32)

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Rosalie Leiner and Helen Spafford (2016)
Pickleworm (Diaphania nitidalis Cramer) neonate feeding preferences and the implications for a push-pull management system
Insects 7 (3 - 32)
Abstract: Push-pull cropping approaches for pest management target the oviposition behavior of adult females. However, insect larvae may move from the natal host and undermine the effectiveness of this approach. We investigated the longevity and feeding preference of pickleworm neonates (Diaphania nitidalis Cramer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)) in relation to a potential push-pull cropping approach incorporating squash as a trap crop (pull) and watermelon as a deterrent intercrop (push) to protect a main crop of cantaloupe. Neonates could survive between 24 to 64 h without food, indicating they have some initial energy reserves to keep alive while in search of a suitable feeding site. To assess neonate feeding preferences, naive neonates were given the choice of five foods; leaves of squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, bean, and a pinto bean-based artificial diet. To assess if previous feeding experience influences neonate food source preference, neonates were allowed to feed on one of the five foods for 24 h and then given the same choice of the five food sources. The neonates, with or without previous feeding experience, did not appear to have a significant preference for any of the cucurbits: squash, cantaloupe, or watermelon, but they did prefer a cucurbit to the bean leaf or artificial diet. Feeding experience on one of these non-host foods made neonates more accepting of these food sources in the choice arena even when host plant food sources became available. It appears that neonate feeding preferences of pickleworm would neither hinder nor enhance the potential success of the proposed cucurbits to be used in a potential push-pull cropping approach for pickleworm management.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Full text of article
Database assignments for author(s): Helen Spafford

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Diaphania nitidalis Melon (Cucumis melo) U.S.A. (Hawaii)
Diaphania nitidalis Squash/pumpkin (Cucurbita) U.S.A. (Hawaii)