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Title: Differentiating Tobacco Budworm and Corn Earworm Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

item Maghirang, Elizabeth
item Dowell, Floyd
item Abel, Craig

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2007
Publication Date: 1/1/2007
Citation: Fengyou, J., Maghirang, E.B., Dowell, F.E., Abel, C.A., Sonny, R. 2007. Differentiating Tobacco Budworm and Corn Earworm Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. Journal of Economic Entomology. Vol.100(3):759-764.

Interpretive Summary: Tobacco budworm and corn earworm are major pests of several crops, including cotton. Their larvae often are found feeding inside plant structures, and these immature stages are visually indistinguishable yet vary significantly in their susceptibility to some insecticides. It is important that the pest be correctly identified so that proper control measures can be implemented. We used near-infrared specroscopy to determine the species of the larvae and eggs with up to 95% accuracy. This technology will help farmers more efficiently control this major crop pest.

Technical Abstract: Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to develop a simple and quick technique to differentiate two economically important species, the tobacco budworm and corn earworm, which are major pests of cotton in the southern United States. In practice, it is difficult to distinguish the two species during their immature stages using morphological characteristics unless expensive microscopy equipment or trained technicians are available. The current studies demonstrated that the two species could be quickly and readily differentiated during early developmental stages, including egg and young larval (<=3rd instar) stages, using NIRS with up to 95% accuracy. NIRS could significantly improve pest diagnosis in cotton pest management.