Proceedings: Animal Sciences

, Volume 96, Issue 3, pp 153–169 | Cite as

Nutritional modulation of reproduction in two phytophagous insect pests

  • S S Krishna


InEarias vittella (F.) (a major noctuid pest of malvaceous crops) changes in the larval food quality (developing seeds, mesocarp, epicarp of okra fruit or the entire fruit; ovary of shoeflower) in either or both sexes led to pronounced disparities in the reproductive performance of the emerging moths. Highest breeding potential was observed when males and females obtained their nourishment, during postembryonic period, from developing seeds of okra of 0–8 days old and such nutrition must be made available for the caterpillars at least for the first 3 days of their lives to attain enhanced level of reproductive efficiency later as moths. During adult life, a carbohydrate nutrient was mandatory for these mated females to realize full fecundity which got tremendously boosted when the sugar was raffinose.

Appreciable increase in ovarian weight with marked improvement in oviposition occurred inTribolium castaneum (Herbst) (a serious tenebrionid pest of cereals and other plant-derived stored commodities) when both larvae and adults ate whole flour instead of semolina, both enriched with yeast. This became further augmented when the flour ingested by these beetles during adult life was previously extracted in 100% ethanol and then reinforced with yeast. However, whole wheat flour or yeast alone given as food to such reared adults caused a sharp fall in the egg deposition of females. Number of eggs laid by mated females also differed considerably when their imaginal diet consisted of one of certain selected nutrients, oilseeds or spices—all supplemented with yeast. Egg hatchability was always 100%.


Earias vittella Tribolium castaneum larval adult nutrition reproductive potential 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • S S Krishna
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of GorakhpurGorakhpurIndia

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