Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-ndmmz Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-28T22:26:57.965Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Development and reproductive potential of diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) on cultivated and wild crucifer species in Kenya

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2008

R. Kahuthia-Gathu*
ICIPE—African Insect Science for Food and Health, PO Box 30772-00100, Nairobi, Kenya Institute of Plant Protection and Plant Diseases, Herrenhäuser str. 2, Hannover30419, Germany
B. Löhr
ICIPE—African Insect Science for Food and Health, PO Box 30772-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
H.M. Poehling
Institute of Plant Protection and Plant Diseases, Herrenhäuser str. 2, Hannover30419, Germany
Get access


The development, survival and reproductive potential of diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) were studied at 25 ± 1 °C in the laboratory in response to two cultivated Brassica oleracea cultivars (cabbage B. oleracea var. capitata and kale B. oleracea var. acephala) and four wild crucifer species Erucastrum arabicum, Raphanus raphanistrum, Rorippa nudiuscula and Rorippa micrantha. Rorippa micrantha was the most preferred species in oviposition choice tests, while cabbage and kale were least preferred. First instar larval mining period differed significantly between plant species with the longest period recorded on cabbage (3.0 days) and the shortest on R. micrantha (0.4 days). Pupal weight was significantly lower for larvae reared on R. nudiuscula, while those of the others were similar. The developmental period from first instar to adult was the shortest on R. micrantha (14.1 days) and the longest on R. raphanistrum (15.6 days). Survival to adult was not statistically affected by the host plant species. Adult longevity ranged between 18.2 days on R. raphanistrum and 24.7 days on R. nudiuscula. The females were significantly heavier than the males on all plant species. However, males lived longer than females. Moths reared on R. nudiuscula recorded the highest fecundity (326 eggs), while moths reared on cabbage had the lowest fecundity (262 eggs). Kale and R. nudiuscula recorded the longest generation time of 31.7 days, while E. arabicum had the highest net reproductive rate (126.4 eggs per day). The highest intrinsic rate of increase was calculated for R. micrantha (0.179) and the lowest for kale (0.147). This study shows the suitability of wild crucifers as hosts for P. xylostella and indicates that they may play a major role as reservoir for the pest during the absence of cultivated host plants.

Research Paper
Copyright © ICIPE 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Agrawal, A. A. and Kurashige, N. S. (2003) A role for isothiocyanates in plant resistance against the specialist herbivore Pieris rapae. Journal of Chemical Ecology 29, 14031415.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Badenes-Perez, F. R., Shelton, A. M. and Mault, B. A. (2004) Evaluating trap crops for diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 97, 13651372.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Begum, S., Tsukuda, R., Fujisaki, K. and Nakasuji, F. (1996) The effects of wild cruciferous host plants on morphology, reproductive performance and flight activity in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae). Research in Population Ecology 38, 257263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Benrey, B., Callejas, A., Rios, L., Oyama, K. and Denno, R. F. (1997) The effect of domestication of Brassica phaseolus on the interaction between phytophagous insects and parasitoids. Biological Control 11, 130140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bernays, E. A. and Chapman, R. F. (1994) Behavior: the process of host finding, pp. 95116. In Host Plant Selection by Phytophagous Insects (Edited by Bernays, E. A. and Chapman, R. F.). Chapman & Hall, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Biever, K. D. and Boldt, P. E. (1971) Continuous laboratory rearing of the diamondback moth and related biological data. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 64, 651655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bigger, D. S. and Fox, L. R. (1997) High density populations of diamondback moth have broader host plant diets. Oecologia 112, 179186.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
de Snoo, G. R. (1999) Unsprayed field margin: effects on environment biodiversity and agricultural practice. Landscape and Urban Planning 46, 151160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dixon, A. F. G. (1987) Parthenogenetic reproduction and the rate of increase in aphids, pp. 269285. In Aphids, Their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control (Edited by Minks, A. K. and Harrewijn, P.). Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
Dyer, L. E. and Landis, D. A. (1997) Influence of non-crop habitats on the distribution of Eriborus terebrons (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) in cornfields. Environmental Entomology 26, 924932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eigenbrode, S. D., Stoner, K. A. and Dickson, M. H. (1990) Two types of resistance to diamondback moth in cabbage. Environmental Entomology 19, 10891090.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eigenbrode, S. D., Espelie, K. E. and Shelton, A. M. (1991) Behaviour of neonate diamondback moth larvae (Plutella xylostella L.) on leaves and on extracted leaf waxes of resistant and susceptible cabbages. Journal of Chemical Ecology 17, 16911704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gurr, G. M., Wratten, S. D. and Luna, J. M. (2003) Multi-function agricultural biodiversity: pest management and other benefits. Basic Applied Ecology 4, 107116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hardie, J., Gibson, G. and Wyatt, T. D. (2001) Insect behaviours associated with resource finding, pp. 87109. In Insect Movement, Mechanisms and Consequences (Edited by Woiwod, I., Thomas, C. and Reynolds, D.). CABI Publishing, Wallingford, Oxon.Google Scholar
Hickman, J. M. and Wratten, S. D. (1996) Use of Phacelia tanacetifolia strips to enhance biological control of aphids by hoverflies larvae in cereal fields. Journal of Economic Entomology 89, 832840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hulting, F. L., Orr, D. B. and Obrycki, J. J. (1990) A computer programme for calculation and statistical comparison of intrinsic rates of increase and associated life-table parameters. Canadian Entomologist 73, 601612.Google Scholar
Idris, A. B. and Grafius, E. (1996) Effects of wild and cultivated host plants on oviposition, survival, and development of diamondback moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) and its parasitoid Diadegma insulare (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Environmental Entomology 25, 825833.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kahuthia-Gathu, R. (2007) Importance of wild crucifers for diamondback moth Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) and its parasitoids in Kenya. PhD thesis, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University, Hannover.Google Scholar
Kfir, R. (1998) Origin of the diamondback moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 91, 164167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kibata, G. N. (1997) The diamondback moth: a problem pest of brassica crops in Kenya, pp. 4753. In The Management of Diamondback Moth and Other Crucifer Pests (Edited by Sivapragasam, A., Kole, W. H., Hassan, A. K. and Lim, G. S.). Proceedings of the Third International Workshop, 29 October–1 November 1996. Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), Kuala Lumpur.Google Scholar
Landis, D. A., Wratten, S. D. and Gurr, G. M. (2000) Habitat management to conserve natural enemies of arthropod pests in agriculture. Annual Review of Entomology 45, 175201.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Löhr, B. and Gathu, R. (2002) Evidence of adaptation of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), to pea Pisum sativum L. Insect Science and Its Application 22, 161173.Google Scholar
Longley, M. and Jepson, P. C. (1997) Cereal aphid and parasitoid survival in a logarithmically diluted deltamethrin spray transect in winter wheat: field-based risk assessment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 16, 17611767.Google Scholar
Lu, J. H., Liu, S. S. and Shelton, A. M. (2000) Laboratory evaluations of a wild crucifer Barbarea vulgaris as a management tool for the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research 94, 509516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Macharia, I., Löhr, B. and De Groote, H. (2005) Assessing the potential impact of biological control of Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth) in cabbage production in Kenya. Crop Protection 24, 981989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meyer, J. S., Ingersoll, C. G., McDonald, L. L. and Boyce, M. S. (1986) Estimating uncertainty in population growth rates: jackknife vs bootstrap techniques. Ecology 67, 11561166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mohan, M. and Gujar, G. T. (2003) Characterization and comparison of midgut proteases of Bacilllus thuringiensis susceptible and resistant to diamondback moth (Plutellidae: Lepidoptera). Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 83, 111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muhamad, O., Tsukuda, R., Oki, Y., Fujisaki, K. and Nakasuji, F. (1994) Influence of wild crucifers on life history traits and flight ability of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae). Research in Population Ecology 36, 5362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rauwald, K. S. and Ives, A. R. (2001) Biological control in disturbed agricultural systems and the rapid recovery of parasitoid populations. Ecological Applications 11, 12241234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reddy, G. V. P. and Guerrero, A. (2000) Behavioural responses of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, to green leaf volatiles of Brassica oleracea subsp. capitata. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 48, 60256029.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Reddy, G. V. P., Tabone, E. and Smith, M. T. (2004) Mediation of host selection and oviposition behaviour of the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella and its predator Chrysoperla carnea by chemical cues from cole crops. Biological Control 29, 270277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Renwick, J. A. A. and Radke, C. D. (1990) Plant constituents mediating oviposition by the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). Phytophaga 3, 3746.Google Scholar
Sant, P. S., Dilbagh, S., Singh, S. P. and Singh, D. (1982) Influence of cruciferous host plants on the survival and development of Plutella xylostella L. Journal of Research PAU India 19, 100104.Google Scholar
Sarfraz, M., Dosdall, L. M. and Keddie, B. A. (2005) Evidence of behavioural resistance by the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.). Journal of Applied Entomology 129, 340341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
SAS Institute Inc. (1999) SAS/STAT Users Guide Version 6. Vols. 1 and 2. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina.Google Scholar
Shelton, A. M. (2004) Management of diamondback moth: déjà vu all over again?, pp. 38. In The Management of Diamondback Moth and Other Crucifer Pests (Edited by Endersby, N. M. and Ridland, P. M.). Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop, 26–29 November 2001. Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Melbourne.Google Scholar
Shelton, A. M. and Nault, B. A. (2004) Dead-end trap cropping: a technique to improve management of the diamondback moth. Crop Protection 23, 497503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sokal, R. R. and Rohlf, F. J. (1995) Biometry. The Principles and Practice of Statistics in Biological Research. W.H. Freeman and Company, New York.Google Scholar
Southwood, T. R. E. (1978) Ecological Methods. 2nd edn.Chapman & Hall, London, 524 pp.Google Scholar
Syed, T. S. and Abro, G. H. (2003) Effect of Brassica vegetable hosts on biology and life table parameters of Plutella xylostella under laboratory conditions. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 6, 18911896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Talekar, N. S. and Shelton, A. M. (1993) Biology, ecology and management of the diamondback moth. Annual Review of Entomology 38, 275301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tscharntke, T. and Kruess, A. (1999) Habitat fragmentation and biological control, pp. 190205. In Theoretical Approaches to Biological Control (Edited by Hawkins, B. A. and Cornell, H. V.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Dam, M. N., Hadwich, K. and Baldwin, I. T. (2000) Induced responses in Nicotiana attentuata effect on behavior and growth of the specialist herbivore Manduca sexta. Oecologia 122, 371379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Verkerk, R. H. J. and Wright, D. J. (1996) Multitrophic interactions and management of the diamondback moth. A review. Bulletin of Entomological Research 86, 205216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vickers, R. A., Furlong, M. J., White, A. and Pell, J. K. (2004) Initiation of fungal epizootics in diamondback moth populations within a large field cage: proof of concept of auto-dissemination. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 111, 717.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wakisaka, S., Tsukuda, R. and Nakasuji, F. (1992) Effects of natural enemies, rainfall, temperature and host plants on survival and reproduction of the diamondback moth, pp. 1526. In Diamondback Moth and other Crucifer Pests (Edited by Talekar, N. S.). Proceedings of the Second International Workshop, 10–14 December 1990, Tainan, Taiwan. AVRDC Publication No. 92-368.Google Scholar
Wittstock, U., Kliebenstein, D. J., Lambrix, V., Reichelt, M. and Gershenzon, J. (2003) Glucosinolate hydrolysis and its impact on generalist and specialist insect herbivores, pp. 101125. In Integrative Phytochemistry: from Ethnobotany to Molecular Ecology (Edited by Romeo, J. T. and Dixon, R. A.). Vol. 37. Elsevier, Amsterdam.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zar, J. H. (1996) Biostatistical Analysis 3rd edn.Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.Google Scholar
Zhao, J. Z., Yang, Q., Cheo, M. T., Ma, Z. and Li, B. (1991) The effects of attractive crops interplanted in cotton fields on the protection and propagation of natural enemies of cotton insect pests. Acta Phytophylacica Sinica 18, 339343.Google Scholar