Waxes enhance Plutella xylostella oviposition in response to sinigrin and cabbage homogenates

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Oviposition by the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), on substrates treated with host stimuli (cabbage homogenate or sinigrin) and/or waxes (paraffin or a mixture of 10 single chain n-alkanes) was quantified using continuous observations and endpoint bioassays. Paraffin or an n-alkane mixture applied over cabbage homogenate or sinigrin caused an increase in oviposition compared to that on any single stimulus in choice tests. Sinigrin alone at 10-5 M to 10-2 M is an ovipositional stimulant; addition of alkane over sinigrin made all sinigrin concentrations (10-6 M to 10-2 M) significantly more stimulatory than controls. Waxes alone do not stimulate oviposition. In choice tests, insect movement between sinigrin/alkane treatment combinations was random, however, once encountered, visit duration was significantly longer on sinigrin with alkane than on sites treated with either stimulus alone. Given the ubiquity of waxes on plant surfaces and the interaction between waxes and host-specific chemical stimuli, waxes should be included when considering factors that significantly influence herbivore host acceptance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • Brassica oleracea
  • Plutella xylostella
  • Plutellidae
  • diamondback moth
  • n-alkane
  • oviposition
  • paraffin
  • sinigrin
  • wax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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