We compared the effect of intercropping on oviposition and emigration behavior of two related specialist moth species. The effect of height of the intercrop species (red clover) on oviposition was studied in field cages, using the leek moth, a specialist on Allium species, and the diamondback moth, a specialist on Brassica species. The moths were also evaluated in an open field experiment. Emigration of both moths was studied in the laboratory and in the field in cages with host plants, red clover (nonhost), host plant and red clover, and bare soil. The possible influence of noncontact stimuli was also studied in the laboratory. The leek moth laid the same amount of eggs in monoculture as in intercroppings with high and low clover. White cabbage intercropped with high clover received fewer eggs of the diamondback moth compared with a cabbage monoculture. Intercropping with low clover did not reduce the amount of eggs laid. Intercropping did not appear to affect the emigration of either the leek moth or the diamondback moth. Leek moths were less likely to emigrate than diamondback moths during the first 4 h of the study. We conclude that diamondback moth may be more likely to be controlled by intercropping than leek moths.
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