Different Performance of Phthorimaea operculella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) among Four Potato Tuber Varieties under Laboratory Condition.

The potato tuber moth Phthorimaea operculella Zeller is one of the most damaging potato pests in the world and is difficult to control as the larvae feed only inside potatoes. Evaluating the effects of performance of P. operculella on different potato varieties may help to facilitate the development of effective pest management practices. In our study, P. operculella reared on potato variety Lishu6 showed strong performance and on Qingshu 9 exhibited the poorest performance, while P. operculella fed on Hezuo 88 and Yunshu 304 performed moderately. Firstly, larval performance of P. operculella fed on Lishu 6 with that on Hezuo 88, Yunshu 304, and Qingshu 9 was compared by using an age-stage two-sex life table. Compared with larvae fed on Lishu 6, those fed on Qingshu 9 exhibited significantly lower survival, with only 5.56% developing to the adult stage. Secondly, the pupal weight experiment showed that the pupae weight of P. operculella feeding on Lishu 6 tubers (0.0123 g) was significantly heavier than that those feeding on Qingshu 9 (0.0102 g) (p < 0.001). Thirdly, female oviposition and larvae feeding preference indicated that females oviposited on Lishu 6 in preference to Qingshu 9 (p < 0.05, p < 0.001). Overall, this study demonstrated that Qingshu 9 is the least suitable host, and planting this variety over a large scale can provide a basis for the next step of P. operculella control.
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