Survey of Heliothis SPP. Larvae Found on Florida Beggarweed and Postharvest Tobacco in Florida

  • D. Michael Jackson
  • Frederic C. Tingle
  • Everett R. Mitchell


Heliothis spp. larvae were collected from pre- and postharvest tobacco and Florida Beggarweed, Desmodium tortuosum. Five distinct adult H. virescens peaks were determined from pheromone-baited cone traps, but only 4 larval Heliothis spp. peaks followed them. The late July larval population was much lower than expected on tobacco and beggarweed, suggesting the existence of another alternate host. Maximum densities on beggarweed were 37 and 18 larvae/sweep sample (10 sweeps) in 1978 and 1979, respectively. The ratio of H. virescens: H. zea increased from 0.2:1.0 in July to over 20.0:1.0 by season's end. Cardiochiles nigriceps parasitized 44.5% of H. virescens larvae from postharvest tobacco, and 9.2% from beggarweed. Archytas marmoratus parasitized 2.9% of the Heliothis larvae collected from postharvest tobacco, but 20.0% of those from beggarweed.
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