The polyphagous lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer) was previously shown to oviposit more frequently on the weed, Acalypha ostryaefolia Riddell, than on sweet corn, Zea mays L. In that earlier study, the presence of A. ostryaefolia led to higher densities of C. maculata larvae on nearby corn. To determine if C. maculata’s apparent oviposition preference for A. ostryaefolia was limited to that weed species, we conducted a 2-yr field study using A. ostryaefolia along with eight other common broadleaf annual weeds. A separate field experiment compared oviposition on just A. ostryaefolia and the weed Abutilon theophrasti Medicus. The possible influence of whitefly Trialeurodes abutiloneus (Haldeman) presence on C. maculata oviposition site selection also was examined. When nine weed species were available, significant oviposition preference was found for A. theophrasti. Similarly, far more egg clusters were found on A. theophrasti than on A. ostryaefolia when only those two species were available. When given a choice between A. theophrasti plants heavily infested with whiteflies and A. theophrasti virtually lacking whiteflies, C. maculata showed no significant oviposition preference between the two types of plants.
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