BEHAVIOR OF SECOND INSTARS OF THE ASIAN CORN BORER, Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenee) (LEPIDOPTERA: CRAMBIDAE), TO DIFFERENT ALTERNATE HOST PLANTS IN THE PHILIPPINES

Merdelyn T. Caasi-Lit, Gelyn D. Sapin, Elisa G. de Leus, Rachel H. Dacuba, Juanita P. Mantala, Suzette A. Latiza

Abstract


Behavioral responses (locomotion, resting, feeding and spinning/ ballooning) of the early instars of the Asian corn borer (ACB) (Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenee) to 15 different alternate host plants were determined. Each host plant was infested with early instars and observed for six hours at 15-minute intervals. Results showed that the favored hosts for feeding in decreasing order are: goosegrass > paragrass > sorghum > mungbean >sugarcane > wild sorghum > okra > IPB Corn Var 1 > napier > itch grass > wild sugarcane > cotton > guinea grass > Job's tears = spiny amaranth. Highest percentages of time devoted to locomotion, resting and spinning-down were observed on spiny amaranth, Job's tears and cotton, respectively. Goosegrass was highly favored and suitable host while spiny amaranth was least favored. Like most larvae, spinning or ballooning was observed to be a distinct behavior of ACB larvae on these hosts. The terms “main” or “major” host vs. “alternate” host are discussed in relation to insect resistance management (IRM). Along the same line, the “interim host” hypothesis is proposed based on present results of ongoing experiments in the laboratory. The results of this study are important contribution to the presently limited information on the behavior of the early ACB instars larvae on different alternate host plants in the Philippines. Such basic studies have implications for development of ACB resistance to Bt corn, and are useful in designing an appropriate management strategy in the tropics.

Key words: Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis, alternate host, larval movement, “interim host”

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