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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Oviposition preference and offspring performance of Crocidolomia pavonana (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) on different host plants

Karungi, Jeninah; Lubanga, U.K.; Kyamanywa, S.; Ekbom, Barbara


The cabbage head caterpillar Crocidolomia pavonana (Fabricius) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is an increasingly devastating pest on white cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) in Uganda. Screen house and field trials were used to assess oviposition preference and offspring performance of C. pavonana on six hosts in the genus Brassica: kale (B. oleracea var. acephala), cauliflower (B. oleracea var. botrytis), broccoli (B. oleracea var. italica), Chinese cabbage (B. campestris spp. pekinensis), Indian mustard (B. juncea (L.) Czern.) and white cabbage (B. oleracea var. capitata). To assess oviposition preference, the hosts were offered to C. pavonana in multiple-choice (all six); two-choice (cabbage with each of the other hosts) or cabbage-only situations. After specified oviposition periods, egg numbers on individual plants were recorded. To determine C. pavonana offspring performance on the six hosts, whole plants were placed in individual cages, where larvae were monitored for development time, pupal weight and foliage consumption. Results of the choice tests indicated that C. pavonana preferred Chinese cabbage and broccoli for oviposition. In two-choice arrangements, all the tested host plants were able to greatly reduce oviposition on white cabbage (69-100%) when compared with the monocrop. Chinese cabbage was the most suitable host with regard to C. pavonana offspring performance as demonstrated by the shortest development time and highest pupal weight. Chinese cabbage and broccoli can be used as traps for the pest but the resulting larvae should be destroyed regularly to prevent accumulation in the system.


Brassica; insect behaviour; insect biology; pest management; trap cropping

Published in

Journal of Applied Entomology
2010, Volume: 134, number: 9-10, pages: 704-713

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    Agricultural Science

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