Preprint / Version 2

Life-History and Behavior of the Diamondback Moth Plutella xylostella on Brassicaceae Cultivars over Multiple Generations


  • Sergio Antonio De Bortoli Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Wanderlei Dibelli Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Ramalho, D G Universidade de São Paulo
  • Robério C S Neves Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Caroline Placidi De Bortoli Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Valéria Lucas Laurentis Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Alessandra Marieli Vacari Universidade de Franca



Insect biology, feeding preference, oviposition preference, conditioning


The diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), is a cosmopolitan pest that causes leaf-area reduction in Brassicaceae plants. DBM populations have significant genetic variability that manifests in different feeding preferences and reproductive behaviors across generations. We evaluated the influence of Brassicaceae cultivars on biological and behavioral parameters across 18 generations of DBM populations that were separated and held on three varieties of Brassicaceae: Brassica oleracea var. acephala (kale), Brassica oleracea var. italica (broccoli), and Brassica oleracea var. capitata (cabbage). P, F6, F12, and F18 generations were evaluated, and biological aspects of young adulthood and fertility parameters of adults held on each host plant were examined over multiple generations. Additionally, larvae and adults were subjected to dual-choice and multiple-choice (feeding and oviposition) between cultivars, over generations. The results indicated that larvae of P. xylostella consumed greater quantities of kale and broccoli cultivars, on average (4.05 cm2), than cabbage (2.7 cm2). The number of eggs per female in F18 generation was 1.95 and 2.17 times higher than those in the parental (P) generation, when reared on kale and cabbage. The population reared exclusively on kale had higher net population growth rate (R0), intrinsic rate (rm), finite rate (λ) and generation time (T) than that reared on broccoli and cabbage. Last generations evaluated, the larval stage reared on cabbage showed feeding preference (F18) and oviposition preference (F12 and F18) for cabbage. Thus, we note the existence of learning, characterized as pre-imaginal conditioning to cabbage cultivars, over various DBM generations.


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07/06/2020 — Updated on 07/23/2020


How to Cite

Bortoli, S. A. D., Dibelli, W. ., Ramalho, D., Neves, R. C. S., Bortoli, C. P. D., Laurentis, V. L., & Vacari, A. M. (2020). Life-History and Behavior of the Diamondback Moth Plutella xylostella on Brassicaceae Cultivars over Multiple Generations. In SciELO Preprints. (Original work published 2020)


Agricultural Sciences