Function of plant odors in oviposition behaviors of the yellow peach moth Conogethes punctiferalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)
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The effect of plant odors on the oviposition behaviors of Conogethes punctiferalis (Guenée) female moths was explored in wind tunnel tests. The complete behavioral process leading to egg-laying was divided into five behavioral components: takeoff from the release point, halfway flight, hovering close to the source, landing and egg-laying on substrates. Host plant odors accelerated takeoff, increased orientation to the stimulus source by hovering before landing and triggered egg-laying. Never did non-host turnip taproot odors accelerate takeoff, even though behavioral components were all induced. Shortly sustained egg-laying under turnip taproot odors indicated involvement of different chemicals from those for other behavioral components. Odors from potato tubers and leaves as an absolute non-host plant never triggered oviposition responses. The detailed effects of plant odor stimuli on each behavioral component of oviposition were investigated by transient odor manipulations in a wind tunnel. A full supply of host plant odors resulted in a longer time for egg-laying, but showed no effect on the time for the laying of each egg, whereas odor cessation at specific behavioral components (e.g., takeoff) interrupted subsequent responses. Even when plant odors were removed just after halfway flight, female moths showed catenated behavioral components from hovering to egg-laying. Suitable and continuous plant olfactory stimulations are necessary to complete the oviposition process by enhancing host-finding efficiency in terms of both speed and accuracy and stimulating sustained egg-laying after landing as final oviposition site acceptance.
KeywordsConogethes punctiferalis Oviposition Behavioral components Host plant odor Wind tunnel
We thank Prof. Ryo Ohsawa for his advice on statistics and Prof. DeMar Taylor for his critical reading and comments on the manuscript. We are also grateful to Prof. Junko Sugaya and Mr. Rikio Satoh for supplying young peach fruits and codlings, respectively.
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