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The attraction of Zonocerus variegatus (L.) (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) to the weed Chromolaena odorata and associated feeding behaviour

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 July 2009

W. W. D. Modder
Affiliation:
Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Abstract

In studies in Nigeria, all instars of Zonocerus variegatus (L.) were found to be strongly attracted to flowers of the common exotic composite weed Chromolaena odorata. Experiments in the field and with caged nymphs suggested that the attraction is due to a volatile compound(s) concentrated in the conspicuous stigmas and released when the buds open. Although very palatable, the flowers seemed inadequate as food, and most of the nymphs roosting on C. odorata even during the flowering season had fed on leaves of C. odorata or other plants. Feeding diminished the attraction to the inflorescences in experimental cages, and of the field nymphs attracted between 11.00 and 15.00 h, a significantly higher proportion than on other plants had relatively empty foreguts. The numbers of field nymphs attracted were maximal at 08.00–10.00h and minimal at 11.00–12.00 h. Both in the cages and in the field, interest in the inflorescences diminished after about 17.00 h, when the highest points within reach are being looked for as roosting sites. Reduction of C. odorata around plantations is unlikely to lessen crop damage by Z. variegatus, but insecticides for Z. variegatus control could be applied conveniently to the tops of C. odorata at roosting time during the flowering season.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1984

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References

Bernays, E. A. & Chapman, R. F. (1974). The regulation of food intake by acridids.—pp. 4859in Barton Browne, L. (Ed.). Experimental analysis of insect behaviour.—366 PP. Berlin, Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Modder, W. W. D. (in press). Diurnal variation in feeding and gut activity in nymphs of the African pest grasshopper, Zonocerus variegatus.Insect Sci. Applic.Google Scholar
Moorhouse, J. E. (1971). Experimental analysis of the locomotor behaviour of Schisrocerca gregaria induced by odour.J. Insect Physiol. 17, 913920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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The attraction of Zonocerus variegatus (L.) (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) to the weed Chromolaena odorata and associated feeding behaviour
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