Where to From Here? The Mechanisms Enabling the Movement of First Instar Caterpillars on Whole Plants Using Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner)

Perkins, Lynda E., Cribb, Bronwen W., Hanan, Jim, Glaze, Ezekiel, Beveridge, Christine and Zalucki, Myron P. (2008) Where to From Here? The Mechanisms Enabling the Movement of First Instar Caterpillars on Whole Plants Using Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner). Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 2 4: 197-207. doi:10.1007/s11829-008-9047-2


Author Perkins, Lynda E.
Cribb, Bronwen W.
Hanan, Jim
Glaze, Ezekiel
Beveridge, Christine
Zalucki, Myron P.
Title Where to From Here? The Mechanisms Enabling the Movement of First Instar Caterpillars on Whole Plants Using Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner)
Formatted title
Where to From Here? The Mechanisms Enabling the Movement of First Instar Caterpillars on Whole Plants Using Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner)
Journal name Arthropod-Plant Interactions   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1872-8847
Publication date 2008-12-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11829-008-9047-2
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 2
Issue 4
Start page 197
End page 207
Total pages 11
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherland
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Language eng
Subject C1
960413 Control of Plant Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
060808 Invertebrate Biology
0607 Plant Biology
Abstract Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is an economically-important, polyphagous herbivore in Old World countries. The distribution of larvae within various host plants has been described, but few studies have tried to determine the behavioural mechanisms by which the given distributions arose. Our aim was to determine the mechanisms which enable larval movement on pea plants, starting with first instars. Observations and bioassays determined larval movement in response to light and angled surfaces, as well as the effect of feeding and plant volatiles on these responses. The majority (68-72%) of 1st instars were positively phototactic towards blue, green and white light and 42% towards UV light. In the dark, larvae showed negative geotaxis. The angle of their substrate also had a kinetic effect on larvae; the steeper the angle from horizontal the more larvae moved under all conditions. Phenylacetaldehyde (a flower volatile) suppressed larval movement except at 90. (Z)-3-Hexenyl acetate (a green leaf volatile) reversed the direction of movement at the flattest angle. Feeding lessened the probability of moving. We suggest that phototaxis and geotaxis are behaviours common to larval lepidopterans (caterpillars), and that these basic behaviours are modulated by environmental, larval, and plant factors to give observed distributions. Using a multinomial model approach, we created a flow chart to qualitatively and quantitatively represent the decision-making process of first instar H. armigera in response to the factors influencing movement.
Formatted abstract
Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is an economically-important, polyphagous herbivore in Old World countries. The distribution of larvae within various host plants has been described, but few studies have tried to determine the behavioural mechanisms by which the given distributions arose. Our aim was to determine the mechanisms which enable larval movement on pea plants, starting with first instars. Observations and bioassays determined larval movement in response to light and angled surfaces, as well as the effect of feeding and plant volatiles on these responses. The majority (68–72%) of 1st instars were positively phototactic towards blue, green and white light and 42% towards UV light. In the dark, larvae showed negative geotaxis. The angle of their substrate also had a kinetic effect on larvae; the steeper the angle from horizontal the more larvae moved under all conditions. Phenylacetaldehyde (a flower volatile) suppressed larval movement except at 90°. (Z)-3-Hexenyl acetate (a green leaf volatile) reversed the direction of movement at the flattest angle. Feeding lessened the probability of moving. We suggest that phototaxis and geotaxis are behaviours common to larval lepidopterans (caterpillars), and that these basic behaviours are modulated by environmental, larval, and plant factors to give observed distributions. Using a multinomial model approach, we created a flow chart to qualitatively and quantitatively represent the decision-making process of first instar H. armigera in response to the factors influencing movement.
Keyword First instar larvae
Foraging
Geotaxis
Movement
Multinomial models
Phototaxis
Plant volatiles
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP0666109
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 30 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 19 Nov 2008, 02:54:29 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences