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Effect of host plants on the oviposition preference of pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)

In: Animal Biology
Authors:
T.N. MadhuICAR – Central Institute for Cotton Research, Nagpur 441108, India
Department of Agricultural Entomology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru 560065, India

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1657-4087
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K. Murali MohanDepartment of Agricultural Entomology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru 560065, India

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Abstract

Pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders, 1843)) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) is an important pest of cotton. We aimed to study the effect of different host plants on the oviposition preference of pink bollworm under laboratory conditions. Cotton (Bt and non-Bt), okra and hibiscus plants were used, which vary in morphological characteristics. Significant differences were observed in the density of trichomes and it is positively correlated with oviposition behaviour of pink bollworm. In a no-choice test, we recorded a higher number of eggs on Bt and non-Bt cotton plants. In two-, three- and four-choice experiments, pink bollworm preferred to deposit the maximum number of eggs on non-Bt cotton among other host plants. A substantially higher number of eggs were laid on Bt cotton in combinations with okra and hibiscus and a considerably lower number on non-Bt cotton. We recorded fewer numbers of eggs on hibiscus in all combinations. Overall, pink bollworm moths showed greater affinity towards non-Bt cotton plants and deposited the maximum number of eggs there. From the practical point of view, the development of cotton genotypes which are devoid or have a lesser density of trichomes may be a possible solution to reduce the pink bollworm egg load on cotton.

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