The effects of larval experience with a complex plant latex on subsequent feeding and oviposition by the cabbage looper moth: Trichoplusia ni (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
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- Chow, J.K., Akhtar, Y. & Isman, M.B. Chemoecology (2005) 15: 129. doi:10.1007/s00049-005-0304-x
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Leaf disc choice and oviposition bioassays were used to examine the effects of larval experience with a Hoodia gordonii latex on subsequent behaviors. The latex deterred feeding and oviposition by “naïve” cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni, Noctuidae) larvae and moths with no previous exposure to the material. “Experienced” insects, reared on a diet with the H. gordonii latex (1000 ppm), exhibited lesser feeding deterrence relative to naïve insects. Experienced female moths actually preferred to lay eggs on treated rather than control leaves. There was no observed transfer of behavioral preferences from experienced parents to their offspring. Our results suggest that moths may be acquiring oviposition preferences from larval feeding experience as described by Hopkins’ host selection principal (HHSP) or through chemical legacy.