Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2007
Publication Date: 6/1/2007
Citation: Jia, F., Maghirang, E.B., Dowell, F.E., Abel, C.A., Ramaswamy, S. 2007. Differentiating Tobacco Budworm and Corn Earworm Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. Journal of Economic Entomology. 100:759-764
Interpretive Summary: Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology detects the light energy reflected from a target object, revealing information about its composition and other characteristics. Two important pests of cotton, tobacco budworm and corn earworm (bollworm), are difficult to identify to species during the egg and larval stages. Using NIRS techniques, species identification from examining eggs and larvae was 95% accurate. The NIRS technology could significantly improve pest diagnosis in cotton pest management. This would improve control for this pest as well as increase the ability to develop and implement strategies to delay the onset of insecticide resistance development in these pests.
Technical Abstract: Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to develop a simple and quick technique to differentiate two economically important species, the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (F.), and corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), which are major pests of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., 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 and 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 (younger than third instar) stages, by using NIRS technology with up to 95% accuracy. NIRS technology could significantly improve pest diagnosis in cotton pest management.