Influence of Saccharum officinarum (Poales: Poaceae) Variety on the Reproductive Behavior of Diatraea flavipennella (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) and on the Attraction of the Parasitoid Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

Fernando L. T. Mesquita, Adriana L. Mendonça, Carlos Eduardo Da Silva, Auridete Maria De Oliveira Correia, Diogo F. M. Sales, Cyro R. Cabral-Junior, Ruth R. Do Nascimento


The aims of this laboratory-based study were: (1) to elucidate the reproductive behavior of Diatraea flavipennella Box in the presence of different sugarcane varieties, (2) to evaluate the capacities of Cotesia flavipes Cameron parasitoids raised on Diatraea saccharalis Fabricius and D. flavipennella to search for healthy and D. flavipennella-infested sugarcane varieties, and (3) to assess the response of the parasitoids towards volatiles released by healthy and D. flavipennella -infested sugarcane plants. There were no significant differences ( P = 0.05) in calling, courtship, and copulation activities when D. flavipennella females, males, or couples were exposed to different sugarcane varieties. According to the number of egg masses and the total number of eggs oviposited, D. flavipennella females showed no preference for any sugarcane variety. The attraction of C. flavipes females to infested plants was significantly greater ( P < 0.001) than to healthy plants, independent of the species of Diatraea on which the parasitoids had been reared. The number C. flavipes attracted to volatiles from infested sugarcane plants was significantly greater than those attracted to volatiles from healthy plants or to a hexane control ( P < 0.001). It is concluded that none of the sugarcane varieties influenced the reproductive behavior of D. flavipennella, although the state of infestation of the host plants strongly influenced the response of C. flavipes.

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