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Agricultural entomology: Cauliflower nocturnal

Agricultural entomology: Cauliflower nocturnal



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Classification and host plants

Class: Insects
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: hetoneuri
Family: Nocturnes
Genre: Mamestra
Species: M. brassicae L.

Bibliographic reference:
Phytopathology, agricultural entomology and applied biology” – M.Ferrari, E.Marcon, A.Menta; School edagricole - RCS Libri spa

Host plants: Cauliflower, Chard, various vegetables, Tomato, Pepper, Potato, Sunflower, Tobacco, Cereals, ornamental and Pome fruit.

Identification and damage

The Mamestra brassicae is a butterfly that can reach even 45 mm of wingspan; the livery of the front wings is gray-brownish, with marbling and white and black designs, while that of the rear wings is uniform grayish. The larva which measures about 40-45 mm in length is greenish (young larva) or greenish-gray (mature larva); moreover the livery is completed by longitudinal dark bands and by the yellowish ventral zone.
The damage occurs on the leaves, both internal and external, and on the stem and is determined by the larvae. These, which have nocturnal habits, voraciously gnaw the leaves and dig tunnels in the stems, also causing the death of the plant.

Biological cycle

Mamestra brassicae overwinters as a chrysalis.
The nocturnal adults appear in April-May and lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves, the ovations generally contain a few dozen eggs. The larvae, which emerge from the month of June, immediately begin to feed, during the night; in the daytime they hide in the ground. After about 1-2 months, depending on the environmental temperatures, the larvae reach maturity and become incisal in the soil, a few centimeters deep. Generally, in July, new adults (2nd generation) flicker; these originate the 2nd generation whose larvae appear from August. These larvae become crystallized and overwintered. The Mamestra therefore performs two generations a year; in the colder regions it makes only one generation per year.

Cauliflower Nottua adult - Mamestra brassicae L. (photo www.agroatlas.ru)

Larva of Nottua of cauliflower - Mamestra brassicae L. (photo www.hdc.org.uk)

Fight

The fight against Mamestra brassicae is chemical and follows the criteria of guided and integrated struggle; it also makes use of biotechnological and biological products. The technique of guided struggle involves the installation of sexual traps, to establish the moment of the intervention (flickering); these traps are to be installed in April.
The fight is carried out against the larvae of the early ages.
The species is controlled in the environment by some entomophages such as:
- Hymenoptera: Amblyteles armatorius Forst., Parasitoid of larvae;
- Diptera: Compsilura concinnata Meig., Parasitoid of larvae.


Video: Introduction to Entomology - Part I (August 2022).