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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #303587

Title: Almond moth oviposition patterns in continuous layers of peanuts

item Mankin, Richard
item Hagstrum, David
item NANSEN, CHRISTIAN - University Of Western Australia
item Meikle, William

Submitted to: Journal of Stored Products Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2014
Publication Date: 6/1/2014
Citation: Mankin, R.W., Hagstrum, D.W., Nansen, C., Meikle, W.G. 2014. Almond moth oviposition patterns in continuous layers of peanuts. Journal of Stored Products Research. 59:48-54.

Interpretive Summary: Scientists at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Kansas State University, and the University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia have investigated egg-laying patterns of stored product insect moths in environments that are similar to those encountered in large storage areas. The goal was to understand the visual cues, chemical cues, and innate behaviors that affect where female stored product moths lay their eggs and initiate economically damaging infestations. Understanding these cues and behavioral tendencies can help pest managers target infestations precisely and reduce the cost and detrimental effects of control measures.

Technical Abstract: The spatial distribution of eggs laid over a 48-h period by individual female almond moths, Cadra cautella Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), was examined in bioassays where peanuts covered either the center quarter (quarter-coverage) or the whole (whole-coverage) of a 120-cm square arena gridded into 3 by 3-cm cells. The mean total of eggs laid in quarter-coverage bioassays was not significantly different from the mean in whole-coverage bioassays, i. e., neither food distribution limited oviposition. However, the maximum count of eggs laid in any cell was higher in whole- than in quarter-coverage bioassays, and eggs were more aggregated near edges of the arena in whole-coverage bioassays than near edges of the peanuts in quarter-coverage bioassays. In addition, eggs were aggregated near where females initially encountered food. These results suggest that almond moth oviposition behavior in continuous areas of peanuts was similar to patterns observed previously for stored-product insect oviposition in small, scattered food patches. In both cases, females walked or flew between separate oviposition events where eggs were laid in small clumps or lines. Possible behaviors resulting in aggregations of eggs near edges of food, walls, boundaries, or entrances are discussed and implications for precision targeting of insects in food storage areas are considered.