Location: Southern Insect Management ResearchTitle: Modulation of reproductive behavior of Diaphania indica (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) by preferred and non-preferred host plants
|GHARAEI, AMIN MOGHBELI - Vali-E-asr University Of Rafsanjan|
|ZIAADDINI, MAHDI - Vali-E-asr University Of Rafsanjan|
|AMIN JALALI, MOHAMMAD - Vali-E-asr University Of Rafsanjan|
|Reddy, Gadi V.P.|
Submitted to: Journal of Insect Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/29/2020
Publication Date: 8/8/2020
Citation: Gharaei, A., Ziaaddini, M., Amin Jalali, M., Reddy, G.V. 2020. Modulation of reproductive behavior of Diaphania indica (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) by preferred and non-preferred host plants. Journal of Insect Behavior. 33:1-11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10905-020-09750-0.
Interpretive Summary: The cucumber moth also called the pumpkin or cotton caterpillar, causes serious damage to a wide range of crops throughout the world. Larvae of this moth feed on leaves, flowers and fruit of their hosts, the preferred being cucumber, gourd, watermelon, Oriental melon, wax gourd, melon, star cucumber, sponge cucumber, cotton, bitter gourd, little gourd, and pointed gourd. A better understanding of the effects of preferred and non-preferred host plants on the sexual behavior and reproductive activity of the insect is important in both evolutionary and ecological contexts and would help improve pest management programs for this pest. The aim of this study is to investigate the influence different plants, including cucumber and watermelon may have on the sexual behavior and reproductive output of cucumber moth. The results concerning the effect of preferred and non-preferred host plants on the calling activity and mating behavior of moth may have practical implications, as the non-preferred plant could cause significant delays in the mating of this moth.
Technical Abstract: The cucumber moth, Diaphania indica (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is one of the most destructive pests of cucurbitaceous plants all over the world. Previously, we showed that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from cucumber plants play a crucial role in guiding gravid D. indica females to oviposition sites, whereas watermelon VOCs did not, and females significantly prefer cucumber over watermelon for oviposition. It remained unclear, however, whether preferred and non-preferred host plants also affect moth reproductive behaviors. In the present study we investigated the effect of preferred and non-preferred host plants on female calling, male attraction to female sex pheromone, and mating behavior in D. indica. In the presence of cucumber, virgin females engaged in significantly more calling activity on the first night than in either the watermelon treatment or the control. Also we found that the mean time per bout on the first night in the cucumber plant treatment, was significantly higher than that of the other two groups. The combination of cucumber foliage with female pheromone significantly increased the attraction and landing of males compared to either watermelon or the control in the wind tunnel. Furthermore, for one-day-old insects mating occurred only in the cucumber treatment. All insects in the cucumber treatment exhibited their first mating on one of the first three nights, but in the watermelon treatment only by night four had all insects mated. We also found that the duration of first mating in cucumber was significantly greater than in either watermelon or control. Overall, our study provides evidence that preferred and non-preferred host plants affect reproductive behaviors in D. indica.