oa African Entomology - Oviposition site preferences of potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), a pest on tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum L. (Solanaceae)



The most frequent oviposition site of potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea aperculella (Zeller), the primary pest on tobacco in South Africa, is in the soil under the plant, irrespective of growth stage. The oviposition site should be taken into consideration in a chemical control programme. High trichome densities in the upper two thirds of the tobacco plant deters the moth from ovipositing in this region. Of the few eggs laid on leaves, most were on leaves on the bottom third of the plant where trichomes were less dense. Potato tuber moth prefers dry soil for oviposition, indicating that microclimate should be considered in an Integrated Pest Management System.?


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