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1 July 2011 Feeding and Life History of Alabama argillacea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Cotton Cultivars Producing Colored Fibers
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Quantitative analysis of the consumption and use by herbivore pest's of the host plant is a common tool used for studying the interaction between insects and plants. Our goals were to quantify cotton leafworm, Alabama argillacea (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), larval consumption rate in three cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., cultivars that produce colored cotton fibers, and the effects of the consumption rate on A. argillacea pupal weight in greenhouse conditions. Larvae consumed a maximum of 0.69–1.03 g of leaf tissue over a 24-h period in all cultivars tested. Total consumption by A. argillacea larvae was highest when fed with ‘BRS 200’ leaves (2.89 g) and the lowest when fed with leaves from ‘BRS Safira’ (2.26 g). The regression analysis showed significant relationships between the quantity of leaf tissue consumed and pupal weights for each cotton cultivar. A. argillacea larvae fed on BRS 200 demonstrated a longer developmental period (14.84 d) than larvae fed on ‘BRS Rubi’ leaves (11.62 d) or BRS Safira (11.14 d). We concluded that BRS Safira presents the best quality food source for A. argillacea, BRS 200 is the worst, and BRS Rubí is intermediate. The longer developmental times of A. argillacea on BRS 200 may allow longer windows of opportunity for the use of biological control agents to reduce the damage caused by this pest and also would complete less generations per phenological cycle of the cotton crop.

© 2011 Entomological Society of America
A.R.B. Nascimento, F. S. Ramalho, T. L. Azeredo, F. S. Fernandes, J. L. Nascimento Júnior, C.A.D. Silva, and J. B. Malaquias "Feeding and Life History of Alabama argillacea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Cotton Cultivars Producing Colored Fibers," Annals of the Entomological Society of America 104(4), 613-619, (1 July 2011).
Received: 9 December 2010; Accepted: 1 March 2011; Published: 1 July 2011

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