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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320239

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Maize and Sorghum for Resistance to Biotic Stress

Location: Crop Genetics and Breeding Research

Title: Aggregation and foraging behavior of imported cabbageworm (Lepidoptera: pieridae) adults on blue vervain flowers

Author
item Ni, Xinzhi
item Riley, D - University Of Georgia
item Sparks, Jr., A - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/23/2015
Publication Date: 7/1/2015
Citation: Ni, X., Riley, D.G., Sparks, Jr., A.N. 2015. Unusual aggregation and foraging behavior of imported cabbageworm (Lepidoptera: pieridae) adults on blue vervain flowers. Journal of Entomological Science. 50(3):252-253.

Interpretive Summary: The cabbage white butterfly, also known as the imported cabbageworm, is an important specialized pest on many cruciferous vegetable crops worldwide. In 2006 and 2014, an unusual aggregation of the cabbage white butterflies was observed on a patch of flowering blue vervain plants on roadside. The sweep net samplings also showed the sexes of butterflies were female biased (3:1 ratio of females to males). Because the blue vervain is a native plant species, and the cabbage white butterfly is an invasive pest species, the unique attractiveness between this invasive female lepidopteran pest and the non-host native plant has broad ramification for insect pest management. This phenomenon could be exploited and utilized as one of the effective management tactics for any given female invasive pest species using native plants or other natural resources.

Technical Abstract: The imported cabbageworm [Pieris rapae (L.) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae)], also known as the cabbage white butterfly, is an important specialized pest on cruciferous plants (Brassicales: Brassicaceae) worldwide. an unusual aggregation of the cabbage white butterflies was observed on a patch of flowering blue vervain [Verbena hastate (L.) (Lamiales: Verbenaceae)] plants on roadside. The sweep net samplings also showed the sexes of butterflies are female biased (3:1 ratio of females to males). Because the blue vervain is a native plant species, and the cabbage white butterfly is an invasive pest species, the unique attractiveness between this invasive female lepidopteran pest and the non-host native plant has broad ramification for insect pest management. This phenomenon could be exploited and utilized as one of the effective management tactics for any given female invasive pests using native plants or other natural resources.