MOTH EXPERIENCE AND NOT PLANT INJURY AFFECTED FEMALE CABBAGE LOOPER MOTH (LEPIDOPTERA: NOCTUIDAE) ORIENTATION TO POTATO PLANTS

Peter J. Landolt

Abstract


Naive mated female cabbage looper moths, Trichoplusia ni Hübner, responded in a flight tunnel to potted potato plants (Solanum tuberosum). Percentages of moths attracted to uninjured potato plants, mechanically-damaged potato plants, and potato plants treated with regurgitant from larvae of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say, were similar, indicating no effect of plant treatment. Attraction of female cabbage looper moths to potato plants was increased following prior contact (experience) by the moth with a potato plant. This increase in responsiveness to potato plants with experienced moths occurred whether the plants were uninjured, mechanically damaged, or treated with Colorado potato beetle larval regurgitant. Moths preconditioned on potato plants treated with regurgitant exhibited similar rates of attraction to mechanically-damaged plants and to regurgitant-treated plants. However, moths preconditioned on mechanically-damaged plants were more responsive to mechanically damaged plants compared to regurgitant-treated plants.

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