Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Relative Attractiveness of Developmental Stages of Sorghum Panicles to Predator, Orius Insidiosus (Say), and Prey, Helicoverpa Zea (Boddie)

Authors
item Tillman, Patricia
item Mullinix, JR., Benjamin - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 8, 2005
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Citation: Tillman, P.G. 2006. Relative attractiveness of developmental stages of sorghum panicles to predator, Orius insidiosus (Say), and prey, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). Journal of Entomological Science. 41(3):248-252.

Interpretive Summary: Populations of corn earworms can reach economically damaging levels in cotton. Trap crop strategies have proven themselves highly effective on tough pests in agricultural crops in recent years and offer the potential to minimize or eliminate the use of insecticides and preserve natural enemies that control pests. To be able to establish a trap crop with attractive plants available at the right time, we needed to determine the sorghum head stage most attractive to corn earworm females and the length of time these sorghum heads would be present in the trap crop. Pre-flowering and flowering heads of sorghum were very attractive to corn earworm moths and were preferred to non-flowering heads for egg laying by corn earworm females. Sorghum heads in these flowering stages were attractive to corn earworms for 15-16 d for early planting dates of sorghum and 11 d for a late planting date of sorghum. Planting sorghum on 3 different dates within each sorghum trap crop ensured that sorghum heads attractive to corn earworm females were available during the critical time when these moths were dispersing from other host plants into cotton and also during the time adults from the first generation of corn earworms in cotton emerged in the field.

Technical Abstract: A 3-yr on-farm study was designed to evaluate sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, as a trap crop for the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). The primary goal of the trap crop was to intercept H. zea females with sorghum when the moths were dispersing from other host plants, mainly corn, into cotton. To be able to establish a trap crop with attractive plants available at this critical time, we needed to determine the sorghum panicle development stage most attractive to H. zea females and the length of time these sorghum panicles would be present in the trap crop. Pre-flowering and flowering panicles of sorghum in the trap crop were very attractive to H. zea moths and were preferred to non-flowering panicles for oviposition by H. zea females. Sorghum panicles in these flowering stages were attractive to H. zea for 15-16 d for early planting dates of sorghum and 11 d for a late planting date of sorghum. Planting sorghum on 3 different dates within each sorghum trap crop ensured that sorghum panicles attractive to H. zea females were available during the critical time when these moths were dispersing from other host plants into cotton and also during the time adult progeny from the first generation of H. zea in cotton emerged in the field.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page