Biological Control with Insects: The Waterlettuce Moth

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Material Information

Title:
Biological Control with Insects: The Waterlettuce Moth
Physical Description:
Fact sheet
Creator:
Center, Ted D.
Publisher:
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Notes

Acquisition:
Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status:
Published
General Note:
"Revised: May 2002"
General Note:
"SS AGR 143"

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID:
IR00004572:00001


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SS-AGR-143 Biological Control with Insects: The Waterlettuce Moth 1 Ted D. Center, F. Allen Dray, and Vernon V. Vandiver, Jr.2 1. This document is SS AGR 143, one of a series of the Department of Agronomy, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Revised: May 2002. Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. Ted D. Center, Research Entomologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314; F. Allen Dray, Ecologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314; and Vernon V. Vandiver, Associate Professor and Extension Aquatic Weeds Specialist, Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean. ( Spodoptera (Namangana) pectinicornis (Hampson) Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Host : Pistia stratiotes L. (Araceae) Very little information is available on the biology and life history of S. pectinicornis It should be noted that this moth is widely distributed occurring in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, and doubtless other countries of Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. The female moths oviposit on both surfaces of waterlettuce leaves. Eggs are laid in masses of up to 150 eggs each (average 94 eggs per mass). The egg masses are covered by a substance produced by the female, perhaps scales from her abdomen. The ovipositional period lasts 2 to 6 days (average 3.6 days) and each female lays up to 990 eggs (average 666 eggs per female). The incubation period ranges from 3 to 6 days (average 4.4 days). Larval developmentprogresses through seven instars and requires 17 to 20 days (average 18 days). Fully-grown larvae attain lengths of up to 25 mm. They pupate in a leaf base or between the leaves, or between the thick ribs on the underside of the leaf. The total generation time is about 30 days. Plant destruction is caused by the feeding activity of the caterpillars. Although considerable damage occurs on the leaves, this alone would probably not kill the plants. The larvae also destroy the meristematic tissue which prevents leaf replacement. and impedes offset production. It was estimated that 100 caterpillars from one average-sized egg mass could destroy the waterlettuce within a 1 m2 (10.8 ft2) area. The first release of S. pectinicornis in Florida was made during late 1990. Field populations apparently failed to establish, despite release of over 330,000 insects on 22 Florida waterways between December 1990 and December 1997.