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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Mating Behavior of Wild Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Males with Laboratory Females

Authors: Carlos A. Blanco, Douglas V. Sumerford, Juan D. López Jr., Gerardo Hernández, and Craig A. Abel
Pages: 191-198
Arthropod Management

Studies conducted with the offspring of field-captured moths offer reliable indicators of natural behavior and response to tests. Utilizing techniques that can maximize mating frequency to obtain the greatest genetic representation of field-collected males is critical for developing representative data from laboratory studies. We studied techniques to maximize the potential genetic diversity of offspring from pheromone trap-captured Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) males (wild) enclosed with laboratory females for one to five days, compared with the enclosure of laboratory females and males. Females mated with wild males obtained their highest number of copulations, produced the largest proportion of fertile eggs, and lived longer when males were removed from their enclosure after two days. Higher female mortality was also observed after this time, further decreasing the potential genetic diversity of the offspring. Experiments conducted with two moth crowding ratios (30 and 60) for same-sex groupings indicated that copulations carried important negative longevity consequences for both sexes. Studies conducted with the offspring of 2-day moth enclosures may offer the greatest genetic diversity while reducing mortality of parental moths.