Oviposition behaviour of tobacco caterpillar, Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on different host plants
Indrakant K. Singh, Ragesh PR, Satish Ganta, Ashok K Singh
Spodoptera litura Fabricius (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is a polyphagous destructive pest of subtropical and tropical agriculture. It is commonly known as Indian leafworm, or tobacco caterpillar, tobacco cutworm, and tobacco armyworm Oviposition preferences of tobacco caterpillar Spodoptera litura were evaluated on four host plants groundnut, (Arachis hypogaea L.), brown mustard (Brassica juncea L.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) in no-choice and two choice tests under laboratory conditions. In no-choice test sunflower significantly elicited a positive oviposition preference, while mustard, groundnut and maize significantly deterred tobacco caterpillar oviposition. In choice tests a notable interaction among plants produced considerable shift in the oviposition preference. Tobacco caterpillar females preferred mustard and ground nut in the presence of less attractive maize. Information of hierarchies of host plant oviposition preference by tobacco caterpillar females will be useful in developing strategies for the management of this pest.