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Bull Entomol Res. 2006 Dec;96(6):583-96.

The ecology of Helicoverpa spp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in the Riverina region of south-eastern Australia and the implications for tactical and strategic management.

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CSIRO Entomology, PMB 3, Griffith, NSW, Australia.


Decisions on the choice of appropriate tactical and strategic control techniques require an understanding of the seasonal distribution and ecology of the target species. To address this need, data were collected from 1997 to 2000 using crop surveys, field sampling and pheromone trapping to monitor the population trends of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) and H. punctigera (Wallengren) in the Riverina region of south-eastern Australia. The data gathered are compared to predictions from the HElicoverpa Armigera and Punctigera Simulation (HEAPS) model, that simulates Helicoverpa population dynamics to assist in identifying the drivers of regional populations and provide a framework to make informed decisions. The results highlight the contrasting seasonal dynamics of H. punctigera and H. armigera within the region. Helicoverpa punctigera populations peak in the spring, driven by large scale spring migration into the region and subsequently decline. Helicoverpa armigera populations, conversely, are characterized by a period of spring recruitment of adults from overwintering pupae within the region, followed by a within-season population increase leading to severe late season pressure. The within-season increase of H. armigera is a result of the succession of crop and non-crop hosts with the main driver being sequentially sown, unsprayed maize. Tactical and strategic management options are discussed in light of these findings.

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