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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Modulation of reproductive behaviour of Spodoptera littoralis by host and non-host plant leaves

Sadek MM, Anderson P


Newly emerged female moths of Spodoptera littoralis were placed singly in jars with either leaves of the host plant, Ricinus communis or leaves of a non-host plant, Adhatoda vasica. The timing and duration of first calling were observed. Females kept with R. communis (Rc) leaves started calling significantly earlier, whereas those kept with A. vasica (Av) leaves started calling significantly later, than the control females, which were kept without any plant leaves. The duration of first calling was also significantly longer in the presence of Rc [eaves than in the presence of Av leaves. The time of calling into the scotophase was advanced with age in control females and in the females given the host leaves, but not in females kept with the non-host leaves. The timing and duration of first mating were also observed in moth pairs in the presence of Rc or Av leaves. The moths exhibited significantly delayed mating when Av leaves were supplied, compared to both control moths and moths given Rc leaves. The duration of first mating was not affected by the presence of the non-host leaves, whereas it was significantly longer in moths given the host leaves. The average number of matings acquired by a moth, given one partner throughout the lifetime was significantly higher in the presence of host leaves, compared to non-host leaves or control conditions. Both fecundity and egg viability were significantly reduced, and the female longevity increased, in the presence of non-host leaves. These negative effects of Av leaves imply the possibility of utilizing the plant in pest management. (c) 2006 Gesellschaft fur Okologie. Published by Elsevier GrnbH. All rights reserved

Published in

Basic and Applied Ecology
2007, Volume: 8, number: 5, pages: 444-452