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Oviposition preferences in Grapholita molesta: the relative importance of visual and olfactory cues

Yang, Xiaofan, Fan, Fan, An, Lina, Li, Mengyao, Wei, Guoshu
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 2019 v.167 no.8 pp. 722-728
Grapholita molesta, Prunus persica, females, fruit trees, host plants, leaves, light intensity, lighting, moths, oviposition, oviposition sites, peaches, pests, shoots, solar radiation
The oriental fruit moth, Grapholita molesta (Busck) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is a major pest of fruit trees worldwide. Females oviposit on the young leaves of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch (Rosaceae)] shoots at twilight, when light intensity changes markedly. Previous researches have shown that the oviposition response of this moth is guided particularly by visual and olfactory cues from host plants. However, the relative importance of visual and olfactory cues in their oviposition preference is largely unknown. As a crepuscular moth, how do choices change as light intensity drops rapidly from day to night? In the present study, through two‐choice behavioural experiments, the oviposition responses of G. molesta to visual and olfactory cues (alone or in combination) from peach shoots were tested at four light intensities ranging from daylight to starlight. Grapholita molesta showed similar oviposition responses to plant cues under 1 000, 100, 1 and 0.01 mW m⁻² illumination. Olfactory cues from peach shoots attracted significantly more oviposition than the negative control, whereas visual cues alone did not. Furthermore, olfactory cues were more attractive than visual cues, and no significant interaction was observed between the responses to the two cues. Our findings indicate that G. molesta females mainly rely on olfactory cues to recognize oviposition sites, regardless of differences in light intensity. These results do not provide evidence for attraction to visual cues, but the possibility that the brightness of leaves might be used to guide oviposition is discussed.