Bull. Spec. CORESTA Symposium, Kallithea, 1990, p. 165, P08, ISSN.0525-6240

Notes on the biology of Lacanobia oleracea (L.) (Lepidoptera : Noctuidae-Hadeninae) in Italy

Istituto Sperimentale per il Tabacco, Scafati, Italy
The main aspects of the biology of the tomato moth Lacanobia oleracea (L.), which was found feeding on tobacco plants in Scafati area (Salerno, South Italy), are reported. L. oleracea completed four generations per year overwintering as pupa in the soil. Adults emergence occurred from beginning April to the second ten days of May, in the first twenty days of June, in the last twenty days of July and from the last ten days of August to the first half of September. Some degree of overlapping was observed between the emergences of the different generations. Adults are active at night. Eggs (200-800/female) are laid in batches on the undersides of tobacco leaves. Larvae are gregarious in the first instars feeding on the under epidermis and parenchyma, without damaging the upper epidermis. Later they make irregular holes. Pupation occurred near the host plant in a fragile subterranean cocoon of silk and earth. In the field, larvae feeded from May to November on wild herbaceous plants (Urtica, Rumex, Chenopodium etc.), while from September to November, reaching maximum in October, they also invaded tobacco plants. At 30.degree.C, eggs incubation and larval stages lasted 3-4 days and 22-25 days, respectively.