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Host stage structure and baculovirus transmission in Mamestra brassicae L. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae: a laboratory examination of small scale epizootics

Vasconcelos, S.D., Cory, J.S., Speight, M.R., Williams, T.
Neotropical entomology 2002 v.31 no.3 pp. 391-396
viral insecticides, insect pests, Baculoviridae, biological control agents, Mamestra brassicae, population density, larvae, insect control, virulence, mortality, biological control, crops, Germany
The effects of stage structure and host density on baculovirus horizontal transmission were examined in the laboratory using larvae of the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae L. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Insects were reared at three instar combinations and three host densities in closed containers with infected larvae. Insects were observed daily and the number of deaths and time to death were recorded. Levels of virus mortality were marginally higher in the containers where a higher density of hosts was introduced. Larvae appeared to have a greater risk of infection when late instar combinations were used. Final levels of mortality of older larvae were significantly higher than those of younger larvae. Mean times to death of larval populations were longer for larvae at earlier instar combinations, with a faster decrease in survivorship of older larvae over time.