Date of this Version
The Author(s) 2019
Striacosta albicosta (Smith) is a key pest of maize and dry beans in North America. It has expanded its distribution from the western Great Plains of the United States to the Great Lakes region in the United States and Canada. There has been limited research on the baseline biological aspects of this insect under controlled conditions. The objective of this study was to detail the biological parameters of S. albicosta feeding on an artificial diet under laboratory conditions. Overall survival from neonate to adult at 26.6 ± 1°C was 36.72% and the total developmental time was approximately 110 d. Survival of the egg, larval, prepupal, and pupal stages were 75.71, 98.50, 51.78, and 95.10%, respectively. Average duration of the egg, larval, prepupal, and pupal stages was 4.64, 28.20, 41.50, and 25.91 d, respectively. During the larval stage, 92.50% of larvae developed through seven instars and the remaining through six instars. Larvae that developed through six and seven instars exhibited a mean growth ratio of 1.60 and 1.47, respectively; however, there was no difference in pupal weight. Eggs laid by field-mated moths showed a fertility of 75.71%, compared with 4.18% from laboratory-reared moths. These data suggest that S. albicosta develop primarily through seven instars and the most vulnerable developmental stage is the prepupa. Laboratory conditions strongly affected fertility success. Information presented here greatly expands our understanding of S. albicosta biology, which can be used to improve the efficiency of laboratory bioassays and management techniques for this critical crop pest.