Journal of Economic Entomology (2016) 109, 2364-2372

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Guadalupe G. Coapio, Leopoldo Cruz-López, Pablo Guerenstein, Edi A. Malo and Julio C. Rojas (2016)
Herbivore damage and prior egg deposition on host plants influence the oviposition of the generalist moth Trichoplusia ni (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Journal of Economic Entomology 109 (6), 2364-2372
Abstract: Female insects have the difficult task of locating host plants that maximize the survival and success of their offspring. In this study, the oviposition preferences of the cabbage looper moth, Trichoplusia ni (Hübner), for soybean plants, Glycine max (L.), under various treatments—undamaged, mechanically damaged, damaged by T. ni or Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) larvae or by Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) adults, egg-free plants, and plants previously oviposited by conspecific or heterospecific females (S. frugiperda)—were investigated using two-choice tests. Additionally, the volatile compounds emitted by the plants under the different treatments were identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Our results showed that females showed no preferences for undamaged or mechanically damaged plants. However, they oviposited more often on undamaged plants than on those previously damaged by T. ni, S. frugiperda, or B. tabaci. In contrast, females preferred to oviposit on plants previously oviposited by conspecific and heterospecific females than on egg-free plants. Plants damaged by conspecific or heterospecific larvae emitted methyl salicylate, indole, and octyl butyrate, compounds not released by undamaged or mechanically damaged plants. Whitefly damage induced the release of higher quantities of Z(3)-hexenyl acetate, (R)-(+)-limonene, and (E)-ß-ocimene compared to plants damaged by larvae and suppressed the emission of linalool. Egg deposition by conspecific and heterospecific moths induced the emission of (R)-(+)-limonene, octyl butyrate, and geranyl acetone but suppressed the release of linalool. This study showed that a generalist moth species can discriminate between plants of different quality, and suggests that females use volatile compounds as cues during this process.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Leopoldo Cruz-López, Edi A. Malo, Julio C. Rojas

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


Pest and/or beneficial records:

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


Trichoplusia ni Soybean (Glycine max)
Spodoptera frugiperda Soybean (Glycine max)